One of them, Sarah Kellen, refused to answer, citing her Fifth Amendment right to remain silent.
Perkins has the thankless task of serving as press secretary to the Queen’s wayward second son, His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, Duke of York.
The female voice on the other end of the phone line belonged to Sian James, an assistant editor at a tabloid that’s been unsparing in its coverage of Andrew’s dissolute private life and dodgy friends.“We’re planning to publish a story about the Duke of York,” James told Perkins, “and we’d like a comment from the Palace.”Perkins listened in stunned silence as James unfolded a shocking tale.
However, her claim on the video that Andrew had advance knowledge of her attempted shakedown—an accusation categorically denied by Buckingham Palace—focused renewed attention on the long charge sheet against the prince.
Among other things, Andrew has been accused of hosting a lunch at Buckingham Palace for Mohamed Sakher El Materi, the billionaire son-in-law of the now deposed Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and of accepting a gift of a $30,000 gold necklace for his daughter Beatrice from a convicted Libyan gun smuggler.
He’s been rumored to be romantically linked to more than a dozen women, including the American actress Angie Everhart and Amanda Staveley, a successful private-equity specialist to whom he proposed marriage.
The sordid connection to Jeffrey Epstein inflicted by far the greatest damage on the prince’s reputation.
With that in mind, the then lord chamberlain, Lord Airlie, established a secretive discussion procedure called the Way Ahead Group, which is chaired by the Queen and consists of senior courtiers and senior working royals.
(The working royals reportedly include the Queen and Prince Philip, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward, Prince William, and Prince Harry.) The Way Ahead Group convenes twice a year, doesn’t keep minutes of its meetings, and deals only with such paramount issues as primogeniture, the feudal rule by which the Crown passes to the eldest male heir.
And while many blame Andrew’s problems on his perennially broke ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, Edward Klein discovers some insiders pointing to another woman—his mother herself.