The British royal family threatened ABC News to drop a story about Virginia Giuffre, a woman who alleged late financier Jeffrey Epstein used her as an underage sex slave for himself and his friends, including Prince Andrew, according to Amy Robach, ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-host and Breaking News anchor, who made the allegation in what appeared to be a hot mic moment.
The pressure from Buckingham Palace was one of the reasons why the network killed the story, Robach said in a video released by Project Veritas on Nov. 5.
“First of all, I was told, ‘Who’s Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story,’” Robach was recorded as saying. “The [Buckingham] Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways.”
She said the network was afraid of losing access to Prince William and Kate Middleton and “that also squashed the story.”
‘Unbelievable What We Had’
Epstein was arrested on July 6 in New Jersey on sex trafficking charges, which caused broader media to report on decades worth of allegations made against him by some two dozen women, including Giuffre.
Giuffre (previously Roberts) made her allegations in a January 2015 sworn affidavit, describing how she was recruited by Epstein’s close associate Ghislaine Maxwell, systematically trained as a sex slave for Epstein, and eventually passed around to other men, including Epstein’s longtime associate Prince Andrew, who was at one time sixth in line to the throne. Andrew denied the allegations. Giuffre provided a picture of Andrew with his arm around Giuffre’s hip with Maxwell in the background.
Robach said ABC convinced Giuffre to give an interview three years ago and that they managed to corroborate her story with accounts of other women and with pictures provided by Giuffre.
“She had pictures, she had everything,” Robach said. “She was in hiding for 12 years. We convinced her to come out. We convinced her to talk to us. It was unbelievable what we had.”
Robach was apparently frustrated by the network’s refusal to run the story, only to see the story proliferate after Epstein’s arrest.
“I tried for three years to get it on to no avail. And now it’s all coming out, and it’s like these new revelations, and I freaking had all of it. I’m so [expletive] right now,” she said.
Eventually, Robach said she grew concerned about the network’s treatment of the story.
“I got a little concerned why I couldn’t get on,” she said.
Robach responded to the video in a statement saying she was disappointed that the interview didn’t air, but that it lacked “sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards.”
ABC’s editorial standards have recently come under scrutiny after the network repeatedly aired Kentucky gun range footage, presenting it as Turkish incursion in Syria. The network issued a correction.
ABC said in a statement to Project Veritas that it has had a team investigating the Epstein story and will release a documentary and a podcast on it in 2020.
“At the time, not all our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story,” the statement said.
The network didn’t respond to emailed questions regarding the pressure from Buckingham Palace and other statements and allegations made by Robach.
“This is entirely a matter for ABC,” said Hannah Howard, deputy communications secretary to the queen of England, in an emailed response to a request for comment.
‘A Hundred Percent’
Epstein was found dead in his jail cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on Aug. 10 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
His death was ruled as suicide by the New York medical examiner, who said he had hanged himself with a sheet from his bed.
However, on Oct. 30, famed pathologist Dr. Michael Baden told Fox News that he believes the physical evidence suggests Epstein didn’t take his own life.
He said Epstein’s injuries were “more consistent with ligature homicidal strangulation” than suicide.
Robach seemed fully on board with the theory that Epstein didn’t kill himself.
“Do I think he was killed? A hundred percent, yes I do. Because do you want it? He made his whole living blackmailing people,” Robach said.
“There were a lot of men in those planes, a lot of men who visited that island, a lot of powerful men who came into that apartment.”
She said she “knew immediately” when the news of Epstein’s death broke.
“And they made it seem as though he made that ‘suicide attempt’ two weeks earlier. But his lawyer claimed that he was roughed up by his cellmate around the neck, that was all like to plant the seed,” she said, referring to the conflicting explanations regarding Epstein’s neck injuries after he was found unconscious in his cell 18 days before his death.
“That’s why I really believe it, like, really believe it,” Robach said.
Update: The article has been updated with a response from a spokeswoman for the queen of England.