Nearly five years after the notorious 2019 BBC Newsnight interview in which Prince Andrew defended his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, the Windsor’s biggest public misstep—after which he was forced to “step back” from any public work as a senior royal—is becoming a movie.
Netflix has debuted the first trailer for Scoop, a film starring Rufus Sewell as Prince Andrew (at one point Hugh Grant was reportedly on the list for the role) and Gillian Anderson as interviewer Emily Maitlis. The script, written by Your Honor’s Peter Moffat, is based on the book Scoops: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews by former Newsnight producer Sam McAlister, who is played by Billie Piper in the film. The Crown’s Philip Martin directs a cast that also features Romola Garai as BBC editor Esme Wren and Keeley Hawes as Andrew’s private secretary, Amanda Thirsk.
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The bombshell sit-down, which was reportedly given the go-ahead by Queen Elizabeth II, aired just months after Epstein—the powerful financier who pleaded guilty to soliciting underage sex in 2008—was found dead in his jail cell while awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. His death was ruled a suicide. Speaking to Maitlis, Andrew claimed that he had no recollection of ever meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the woman who claimed that Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew, and denied all accusations against him. (Prince Andrew settled with Giuffre out of court for a reported sum of 12 million pounds.)
There was an avalanche of fallout in the weeks that followed. The Times UK reported that Prince Andrew’s PR adviser, Jason Stein, resigned two weeks before the interview because he had warned the prince against participating in it. A source close to the palace told The Times they believe that the interview will “go down as one of the single worst PR moves in recent history.” Multiple charities affiliated with the Duke of York distanced themselves, culminating in his official decision to step back from public duties as a royal.
“It was catastrophic,” a friend of Andrew’s told Vanity Fair’s Mark Seal in 2022. “It was a crescendo of horrors; it just got worse and worse and worse.”
Scoop hits Netflix on April 5.
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