Prince Andrew's ties to scandal deepen

March 7, 2011 at 1:39 PM
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LONDON, March 7 (UPI) -- Sarah Ferguson admitted Monday her ex-husband, Prince Andrew, arranged for a convicted, rich American pedophile to help clear her debts.

The Duchess of York confirmed to The Daily Telegraph the duke's office had Jeffrey Epstein give $24,000 to her former personal assistant, Johnny O'Sullivan.

"I personally, on behalf of myself, deeply regret that Jeffrey Epstein became involved in any way with me," she said. "I abhor pedophilia … and know that this was a gigantic error of judgment. I am just so contrite I cannot say."

Epstein was jailed for sex with an underage girl in 2008 and reportedly is again under FBI investigation.

O'Sullivan was owed $126,000. After hearing about the duchess's plight Epstein, a friend of Andrew's, stepped in to help. O'Sullivan accepted $24,000, which allowed a restructuring of Sarah's $8 million in debts.

Andrew's role as Britain's trade envoy is already under attack, and the revelation of his direct role in the payment will increase pressure on him to quit.

A spokesman for Prime Minister David Cameron told The Guardian Monday he still had full confidence in the prince's role and denied reports it is under review.

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