updated 03/08/2011 AT 10:00 AM ET
•originally published 03/08/2011 AT 10:45 AM ET
She already didn’t make the guest list of April 29’s big wedding – though her ex-husband and their two children did – and now Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is once again said to be in hot water with the Royal Family.
Ferguson, ex-wife of Prince Andrew, was linked to convicted U.S. sex offender and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, from whom she received a loan of about $24,500, say news reports.
But the duchess, 51, says she knew nothing about Epstein’s criminal history and – once again – she’s sorry.
“I am just so contrite I cannot say,” she tells the Evening Standard. “Whenever I can, I will repay the money and will have nothing to do with Jeffrey Epstein ever again.”
She said the payment was orchestrated through Andrew’s office and that she wasn’t directly involved, although Andrew’s office did not comment on the affair.
This business deal comes less than a year after she was busted for offering a stranger access to Andrew in exchange for $40,000 on the spot and the promise of a wire transfer of more than $700,000 into her personal bank account.
Andrew also seemed to be in hot water: He was photographed with an underage masseuse at his home, although no link between the two was determined. The Standard also says he’s had a string of ties to Epstein, including stays at his homes in New York City and Florida.
The duchess defended her husband of 10 years, saying that “once again,” her own errors dragged him into a messy situation.
“He has supported me and come to my rescue again and again,” she says, “and there is absolutely nothing that I would not do for him.”
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