A leaked video shows ABC News anchor Amy Robach saying her network for three years suppressed an interview concerning disgraced financier and alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein due to pressure from external sources including the British royal family.
An ABC statement provided to the Washington Free Beacon said the network declined to air an interview with an accuser of Epstein because it could not corroborate the woman's specific claims through reporting.
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"I've had this story for three years. I've had this interview with Virginia Roberts, we would not put it on the air," Robach is heard saying on a hot mic in the video.
"She [Roberts] had pictures, she had everything. She was in hiding for 12 years. We convinced her to come out. We convinced her to talk to us. It was unbelievable what we had, Clinton, we had everything," Robach continued. She said she tried to get the interview on air "to no avail."
Robach said in the video the story she had was "unreal." She also said the network received pressure not to air allegations against Prince Andrew, and that the network was concerned about losing access to interviews with the royal family.
"The palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways," she said.
An NPR article published after Epstein's death in August reported that law professor Alan Dershowitz, one of Epstein's defense attorneys, also intervened to prevent the broadcasting of the interview.
"There were a lot of men in those planes, a lot of men who visited that island, a lot of powerful men who came into that apartment," Robach said.
She also said alleged Epstein conspirator Ghislaine Maxwell "should be careful" in the wake of Epstein's death.
Roberts, whose full name is Virginia Roberts Giuffre, alleged that she was sexually trafficked by Epstein for Prince Andrew, a member of the British royal family.
Project Veritas, an activist group, obtained and published the video of Robach, crediting its leak to a "network insider."
An ABC network source provided the Free Beacon with statements from both Robach and ABC News. Robach called the video a "private moment of frustration."
"I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn't air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC's editorial standards about her allegations," she said in the statement.
She added that the specific references she made in the leaked video to Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton's alleged involvement referred to Roberts's claims, not what ABC had confirmed through reporting.
She also insisted that she did not receive any direction to stop investigating the story.
ABC News said that "at the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story." The network will air a documentary and a six-part podcast on the story in the next year.
Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in August as he faced criminal charges of sex trafficking.