Prince Andrew’s troubles not over despite change in status

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s Prince Andrew continues to face many hurdles despite his decision to step down from royal duties because of his friendship with billionaire sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The 59-year-old prince, who is Queen Elizabeth II’s son, is struggling to stay at the helm of his Pitch&Palace charity, with some British media reports indicating he has already stepped down.

A number of the charity’s corporate backers including Barclays have stopped supporting the project, which brings young entrepreneurs together with companies that can help put their ideas into practice.

Buckingham Palace says Pitch&Palace is in a period of transition and that the ties to the palace will be dropped. It may be known as Pitch in the future.

Andrew faces continued scrutiny that is expected to intensify when a BBC interview with his primary accuser is broadcast.

The broadcast with Virginia Roberts Giuffre is set for Dec. 2. She says she had sex with Andrew three times, starting when she was 17.

Andrew denies the accusation and says he doesn’t have any recollection of meeting her, despite a photograph showing him with his arm around her.

Related: Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s wedding

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LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 23: Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and Prince Andrew, Duke of York stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace and wave at their wedding on July 23, 1986 in London, England. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
Library file, dated 23.7.86. Mrs Susan Barrantes (far left), mother of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, joins her daughter on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, following her marriage to the Duke of York, Prince Andrew: Mrs Barrantes, the former wife of the Duchess's father Major Ronald Ferguson, has died in a car crash in Argentina. See PA story DEATH Barrantes. /PA **AVAILABLE B/W ONLY** (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
On the balcony of Buckingham Palace, Sarah, Duchess of York and Prince Andrew, Duke of York kiss each other after their wedding, London, England, July 23, 1986. Among those with them is best man (and brother of the groom) Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (right). (Photo by Derek Hudson/Getty Images)
On the balcony of Buckingham Palace, Sarah, Duchess of York and Prince Andrew, Duke of York kiss each other after their wedding, London, England, July 23, 1986. Among those with them on the balcony are Sarah's mother, Susan Barrantes (1937 - 1998) (left, in yellow), Peter Philips (bottom left), best man (and brother of the groom) Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (right rear), Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother (1900 - 2002) (right), and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge (far right). (Photo by Derek Hudson/Getty Images)
On the balcony of Buckingham Palace, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Sarah, Duchess of York wave to well-wishers after their wedding, London, England, July 23, 1986. (Photo by Derek Hudson/Getty Images)
London July 23, 1986 Princess Diana and Prince Charles at wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson at the Various in Various, United Kingdom. (Photo by Tom Wargacki/WireImage)
Library file 6464-20, dated 23.7.86. Mrs Susan Barrantes (far left), mother of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, joins her daughter on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, following her marriage to the Duke of York, Prince Andrew: Mrs Barrantes, the former wife of the Duchess's father Major Ronald Ferguson, has died in a car crash in Argentina. See PA story DEATH Barrantes. /PA (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey, London, UK, 23rd July 1986. (Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)
Elevated view inside Westminster Abbey during the wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, London, England, July 23, 1986. (Photo by Tom Stoddart/Getty Images)
The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey, London, UK, 23rd July 1986. (Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)
The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey, London, UK, 23rd July 1986. (Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)
The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey, London, UK, 23rd July 1986. (Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)
The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey, London, UK, 23rd July 1986. (Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)
The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey, London, UK, 23rd July 1986. (Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)
The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey, London, UK, 23rd July 1986. (Photo by John Shelley Collection/Avalon/Getty Images)
Sarah Ferguson et d'Andrew d'York dans une calèche après leur mariage le 23 juillet 1986 à Londres au Royaume-Uni. (Photo by Pool MARIAGE PRINCE ANDREW/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
The wedding of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson. The Duke and Duchess of York wave to crowds from the balcony of Buckingham Palace, 23rd July 1986. (Photo by Mike Maloney/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
Prince Andrew kisses his bride Sarah Ferguson on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Prince Andrew kisses his bride Sarah Ferguson on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on their wedding day. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
The Duke and Duchess of York (formerly Prince Andrew and Miss Sarah Ferguson) smile happily during their carriage procession after their wedding at Westminster Abbey in London. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
The royal couple, the Duke and Duchess of York leave Westminster Abbey after their marriage. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
The newlywed Duke and Duchess of York, with (b. row-L) Prince Edward. Children; Alice Ferguson, Lady Posanagh Innes-Ker. Seated children l-r: Andrew Ferguson, Seamus Makim, Peter Phillips, Prince William and Laura Fellowes. (Foreground) Zara Phillips. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
Royal Family on the balcony at Buckingham Palace after the wedding of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson, The Duke and Duchess of York . (Photo by Mirror Syndication International/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
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Giuffre says she was a victim of a sex trafficking scheme operated by Epstein, a billionaire financier who died in prison in August in what was ruled a suicide.

Many legal papers relating to the case remained sealed to the public.

Andrew’s troubles reached a crescendo after he tried to end speculation about the matter by giving a live TV interview one week ago in which he didn’t express concern for Epstein’s young victims and defended his relationship with the financier.

The backlash was almost instantaneous and led to the extremely rare decision to remove him from a carefully cultivated royal role.

Queen Elizabeth II hasn’t commented in public on the scandal and showed her support for Andrew Friday by going horseback riding with him on the grounds of Windsor Castle within view of a photographer.

Some of the victims’ lawyers are calling for Andrew to voluntarily give evidence to U.S. officials or face a possible subpoena that could force him to testify under oath.

He hasn’t been publicly charged with any crime and it wasn’t clear if U.S. officials investigating Epstein want to question Andrew.

Andrew has admitted he made a mistake by staying at the New York City home of Epstein after the financier had been convicted of sex offenses.

British media reported Saturday that Andrew and his family had also been guests at the home of a wealthy Canadian who had been accused by several women of sexual harassment.

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