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Prince Andrew denies soliciting cash gift to ease ex-wife's debts


March 14, 2011 - London

A day after it emerged that a property magnate secretly helped pay off Prince Andrew's ex-wife's debts, the Duke of York has strongly denied soliciting any cash gift.

A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said the Duke of York's visit to the Banque Havilland was 'not connected with, or conditional on, any other arrangement', reports The Telegraph.

David Rowland, who decided not to take up his post as Conservative Party treasurer last year, reportedly gave 40,000 pounds to the Duchess's former aide Kate Waddington.

Last week, the Duchess apologised for a 'gigantic error of judgment' in allowing the Duke's friend and a convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein to pay off 15,000 pounds of her 5million pounds debts.

The Duchess, who has repeatedly voiced her gratitude to the Duke for taking charge of clearing her debts, came to individual arrangements with creditors, some of whom were paid as little as 25 percent in the pound.

Waddington, the Duchess's former public relations consultant, was owed 75,000 pounds and was paid 18,750 pounds by the Duchess.

Other creditors who accepted the 25 percent arrangement were not told of the 40,000 pounds top-up from Rowland, nor were they made aware that Epstein gave the Duchess's former aide in the United States, Johnny O'Sullivan, 15,000 pounds.

The Duke has come under pressure to quit as Britain's trade ambassador after disclosures about his friendships with a string of controversial business contacts, in particular Epstein, who was jailed for 18 months in 2008 after admitting soliciting a minor for prostitution.

ANI

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