Wed, 6 Nov, 2019

"They threatened us": ABC "quashed" story about Jeffrey Epstein due to pressure from British Royal family

"They threatened us": ABC "quashed" story about Jeffrey Epstein due to pressure from British Royal family

In a leaked footage released Tuesday, US anchor Amy Robach said her network “quashed” a story about convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein due to threats from the British royal family.

Robach, reporter and anchor for ABC America, is seen in the clip speaking about her frustration that the network did not air her 2015 interview with one of Epstein’s alleged victims, Virginia Giuffre (formerly Virginia Roberts).

In the video, Robach said she was told, “Who’s Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.”

Robach also said the British Royal Palace pressured ABC not to air her interview with Giuffre.

“The Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways,” she said.

She suggested the network feared that airing the interview would hurt the network’s ability to gain an interview with Prince William and Duchess Kate.

“We were so afraid that we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate and Will. That also quashed the story.”

Robach said Giuffre had given her news crew “everything”, including photographic evidence.

“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 said.

“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.

“Brad Edwards [Giuffre’s lawyer], the attorney, three years ago saying, ‘There will come a day, when we will realise Jeffrey Epstein was the most prolific paedophile this country had ever known.’ I had it all three years ago.”

Project Veritas, a conservative organisation which released the clip, said it came from an “ABC insider”.

Following the video’s release, ABC denied that outside pressure influenced the network’s decision to reject the 2015 story.

“At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story,” ABC News said in a statement Tuesday.

“As a journalist, as the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration,” Robach said.

“I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia [Giuffre] didn’t air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards about her allegations. My comments about Prince Andrew and her allegation that she had seen Bill Clinton on Epstein’s private island were in reference to what Virginia [Giuffre] said in that interview in 2015.”

In an interview published by NPR in August, Giuffre said she “viewed the ABC interview as a potential game-changer”.

“Appearing on ABC with its wide viewership would have been the first time for me to speak out against the government for basically looking the other way and to describe the anger and betrayal victims felt.”

Epstein was arrested in July on sex trafficking charges and died in prison the following month.

Epstein had been associated with Prince Andrew and former US president Bill Clinton. Both the prince and Clinton have denied any knowledge of Epstein’s crimes and illicit activities.