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(CNN) - Prince Andrew said Queen Elizabeth authorized him to retire from his public duties "for now" after a storm of criticism broke out in the interview in which he mentioned his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, convicted of sexual crimes .
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In a statement issued on Wednesday, the Duke of York said that "no doubt" regretted his relationship with the financial controversy and was willing to help in any investigation in this regard.
“It has been clear to me in recent days that the circumstances linked to my previous association with Jeffrey Epstein have become an important alteration for my family's work and the valuable work that many organizations and charities do that I am proud to support. "Said Prince Andrew.
"That's why I asked Her Majesty (the queen) if I can retire from my public duties for now, and she has given me her permission," he added.
A real source told CNN that the Duke of York made the decision to move away from his duties after an argument with the queen, the prince of Wales and others. The source said that this determination is the best, and that nothing is more important to the family than the institution itself.
The prince's statement comes a few days after a controversial interview with BBC Newsnight, in which he denied accusations of having had sexual relations with a minor woman, who said he was the victim of trafficking by Epstein. In documents filed in 2015 before a federal court, Virginia Roberts Giuffre said Epstein forced her to perform sexual acts with several important men, including Prince Andrew in 2001, when she was only 17 years old. All of them have denied the accusations.
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During the BBC interview, Queen Isabel's second son said that he had taken his eldest daughter to a party at a pizzeria during the night in which it is claimed that she had sex with Roberts Giuffre. Prince Andrew also argued that for many years he could not sweat, refuting the accusations made by Roberts Giuffre that he "sweated profusely" before having sex with her.
In addition, he repeated several times that the two never met, despite the existence of a photograph that seems to show the Duke of York with his arm around Roberts Giuffre.
Prince Andrew added that he had not seen anything that seemed suspicious when he was near Epstein.
Epstein, who was convicted of sexual crimes for the first time in 2008, died in an apparent suicide in August, while awaiting trial on federal charges of sexually abusing underage girls and running a sex trafficking network. Epstein had pleaded not guilty.
“I certainly continue to regret my reckless relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many questions unanswered, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathize with all those who have been affected and want some form of end, ”the prince said Wednesday. .
“I can only hope that, over time, they can rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate authority with their investigations, if necessary, ”he completed.
- LOOK: Prince Andrew insists that he never witnessed or suspected Epstein's behavior
The news comes after several companies cut their ties with the Duke of York following the broadcast of the interview last Saturday. The British telecommunications company BT said it would withdraw support for an online skills training program if the prince did not cease to be its sponsor.
Cisco, KPMG and Standard Chartered have also distanced themselves from Prince Andrew's entrepreneurial platform called Pitch @ Palace.
The chronology of the moment when Andrés met Epstein has also been subject to scrutiny. In a letter to the Times of London in 2011, his then personal secretary, Alastair Watson, wrote that the prince first met Epstein in the early 1990s, not in 1999, as Prince Andrew stated in the BBC interview. .
"There have been widespread comments about the Duke's relationship with Jeffrey Epstein," Watson wrote. "The Duke has known Epstein since he was introduced in the early 1990s. The insinuations that have been made regarding the Duke are unfounded."
But Prince Andrew told the BBC that "they met through his girlfriend in 1999," whom he had known "since he was in college in Britain," referring to Ghislaine Maxwell.
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In response to the difference in years, a palace spokesman told CNN: "The duke's words in his interview speak for themselves." CNN is trying to contact Watson to get a comment.
Prince Andrew was also asked during the BBC interview about the photographs that showed him with Epstein in Central Park in 2010, after Epstein was convicted of sexual crimes.
The prince said he had gone to New York to break contact with Epstein as a result of the sentence.
"I have wondered why I went and what I was doing and if it was the right thing," he said. "Now, I went there with the sole purpose of telling him that, because he had been convicted, it was inappropriate for them to see us together."
Jeffrey Epstein Prince Andrew Queen Isabel