Anchor says Buckingham Palace pressure killed ABC's story on Epstein

In a leaked video released Tuesday, ABC News anchor Amy Robach said the network killed her story on wealthy pedophile Jeffrey Epstein under pressure from the British royal family.

Robach, sitting at the ABC anchor desk but apparently speaking to colleagues off-air, was expressing frustration that the network did not air her 2015 interview with Virginia Giuffre, who said she was coerced into a sexual relationship with Epstein when she was a teenager. Among other men whom she accused of abusing her when she was 17 was Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son.

"I’ve had this interview with Virginia [Giuffre]," she says in the video. "We would not put it on the air. First of all, I was told, ‘Who’s Jeffrey Epstein?’... Then the palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways. We were so afraid we wouldn't be able to interview Kate and Will, so I think that had also quashed the story.”

Robach also said they had evidence implicating former President Bill Clinton, who flew on Epstein’s plane. Clinton and Prince Andrew have denied Giuffre’s accounts.

“It was unbelievable what we had,” continued Robach. “Clinton — we had everything, 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.”

20 PHOTOS
Amy Robach out and about
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Amy Robach out and about
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Author Katie Nicholl is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, March 20, 2018, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lou Rocco/ABC via Getty Images) KATIE NICHOLL, AMY ROBACH
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Show coverage of 'Good Morning America,' Wednesday, January 24, 2018, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAIN, ROBIN ROBERTS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, AMY ROBACH
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Amy Robach is seen on September 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by VMAL/Star Max/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 19: Andrew Shue and Amy Robach attend 'Battle of the Sexes' special anniversary screening at SVA Theater on September 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - 50 Cent is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, August 29, 2017 airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) AMY ROBACH, 50 CENT, LARA SPENCER
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Coverage of 'Good Morning America,' Thursday, September 21, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, AMY ROBACH, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS
GOOD MORNING AMERICA Lady Antelbellum perform live from Central Park as part of the GMA Summer Concert Series on 'Good Morning America,' Friday, July 14, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) AMY ROBACH
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Green Day performs live as part of the GMA Summer Concert Series on 'Good Morning America,' Friday, May 19, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) AMY ROBACH, SARA HAINES
GOOD MORNING AMERICA -Coverage of 'Good Morning America,' Thursday, May 4, 2017 airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) AMY ROBACH
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Coverage of 'Good Morning America,' Monday, April 10, 2017 airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) AMY ROBACH, MICHAEL STRAHAN
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 08: Amy Robach attends the 2017 Afghan Hands fundraiser at Gabriel & Co Showroom on March 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Local animal shelter dogs visit 'Good Morning America,' Wednesday, March 23, 2017, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Paula Lobo/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, AMY ROBACH
GOOD MORNING AMERICA Show coverage of 'Good Morning America,' Wednesday, February 22, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) ROBIN ROBERTS, GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, AMY ROBACH
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 14: Actor Andrew Shue and journalist Amy Robach attends the Chiara Boni La Petite Robe collection during, New York Fashion Week: The Shows at Gallery 3, Skylight Clarkson Sq on February 14, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for New York Fashion Week: The Shows)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Country star Brett Eldredge brings his holiday music - and his mom's Christmas cookies - to GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 12/9/16, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) MICHAEL STRAHAN, LARA SPENCER, GINGER ZEE, BRETT ELDREDGE, AMY ROBACH
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Emeli Sand�performs live on 'Good Morning America,' 11/29/16, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images) EMELI SANDE, AMY ROBACH
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Amy Robach on 'Good Morning America,' 11/28/16, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) AMY ROBACH
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: (L-R) Ali Wentworth, Andrew Shue and Amy Robach attend 'Nightcap' Premiere Party at Crosby Street Hotel on November 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03: TV Personalities Amy Robach, Michael Strahan, and Sara Haines attend AT&T Audience Network Celebrates the 'Religion of Sports' at St. Bart's Cathedral on November 3, 2016 in New York Cit (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for DirecTV)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Jess Cagle of People Magazine is a guest on 'Good Morning America,' Tuesday, November 15, 2016, airing on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC via Getty Images) JESS CAGLE, AMY ROBACH
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The video was published Tuesday morning by Project Veritas, a right-wing organization that has attempted a number of “sting” operations against media organizations. The group said the video was leaked by an “ABC insider.”

In August, NPR reported on how ABC News failed to air Robach’s interview with Giuffre. Harvard law professor emeritus and Epstein defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, whose name has also come up in the investigation of Epstein, pressured the network to kill the story.

“I did not want to see [Giuffre's] credibility enhanced by ABC,” Dershowitz told NPR, stating that he believed he spoke with two producers and a lawyer within the same 24-hour period.

ABC News also declined to air the interview a few months later when Giuffre filed a defamation suit against Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been accused of recruiting girls for Epstein to abuse. Maxwell is the daughter of British publishing magnate Robert Maxwell, who drowned under suspicious circumstances in 1991. Maxwell has denied any involvement in Epstein’s crimes.

Giuffre alleges that Epstein told her to have sex with Prince Andrew, hedge fund billionaire Glenn Dubin, former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Democratic Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.

“I was defeated, once again, by the very people I spoke out against, and once again, my voice was silenced,” Giuffre told NPR. “I could not believe that a formidable network like ABC had backed down and given in."

In statements following the video’s release, Robach and ABC News said that the 2015 story failed to reach their editorial standards.

"As a journalist, as the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration," said Robach. "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. I was referencing her allegations — not what ABC News had verified through our reporting."

ABC News released a statement saying that “[a]t the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story. Ever since, we've had a team on this investigation and substantial resources dedicated to it. That work has led to a two-hour documentary and six-part podcast that will air in the new year.”

7 PHOTOS
The few publicly-available photos of Jeffrey Epstein
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The few publicly-available photos of Jeffrey Epstein
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Carol Mack, Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend Henry Street Settlement Event on May 16, 1995 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
From left, American real estate developer Donald Trump and his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, financier (and future convicted sex offender) Jeffrey Epstein, and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell pose together at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 13: Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell attend Batman Forever/R. McDonald Event on June 13, 1995 in New York City. (Photo by Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Portrait of American financier Jeffrey Epstein (left) and real estate developer Donald Trump as they pose together at the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, 1997. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 7: Guest and Jeffrey Epstein attend Imperia U.S. Launch Party at The Statue Of Liberty at Liberty Island on September 7, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in Cambridge, MA on 9/8/04. Epstein is connected with several prominent people including politicians, actors and academics. Epstein was convicted of having sex with an underaged woman. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Rick Friedman Photography/Corbis via Getty Images)
Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein in Cambridge, MA on 9/8/04. Epstein is connected with several prominent people including politicians, actors and academics. Epstein was convicted of having sex with an underaged woman. (Photo by Rick Friedman/Corbis via Getty Images)
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Epstein was arrested in July on charges that he sexually abused and exploited minor girls. In addition to Clinton and Prince Andrew, Epstein also had associated with Donald Trump. Records show that Trump flew on Epstein’s private jet on occasion, and they were photographed together at social events.

“I’ve known Jeff for 15 years. Terrific guy,” said Trump in a 2002 New York magazine profile of Epstein. “He’s a lot of fun to be with. It is even said that he likes beautiful women as much as I do, and many of them are on the younger side. No doubt about it — Jeffrey enjoys his social life.”

Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta was U.S. attorney in Miami when Epstein faced charges in 2007 for, as the Miami Herald put it in its award-winning reporting on the case, “assembling a large, cult-like network of underage girls — with the help of young female recruiters — to coerce into having sex acts behind the walls of his opulent waterfront mansion as often as three times a day.” Acosta, who negotiated what has been criticized as an inappropriately lenient plea deal in that case, resigned after Epstein’s arrest this year.

In August, Epstein was found unconscious in his cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center — the federal jail in downtown Manhattan — and pronounced dead at a nearby hospital in what medical examiners later ruled a suicide. Following Epstein’s death, Trump promoted the conspiracy theory that the Clintons had him murdered. A pathologist hired by Epstein’s brother to perform an autopsy said last week that he believed there was evidence it was murder, not suicide.

 

 

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