Prince Andrew releases statement and says he will 'step back from public duties' amid ongoing sexual misconduct scandal

Cape Town – Prince Andrew has released a statement and says he will "step back from public duties" amid the ongoing sexual misconduct allegations.

The Duke of York received backlash after an explosive interview with BBC News Night in which he discussed claims made by Virginia Roberts that when she was seventeen, she was acquired by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and forced to have sex with Prince Andrew on three occasions.

His Royal Highness vehemently denied all allegations levied at him.

READ MORE HERE: Prince Andrew denies sexual misconduct allegations in explosive interview

On Wednesday, via The Royal Family Instagram and Twitter accounts, the duke has released an official statement.

"It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisation and charities that I am proud to support," the statement reads, before Prince Andrew continues and says he's asked the queen as a result if he may "step back from public duties" for the time being.

"I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein," he says, before saying he "sympathises with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure".

"I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives," he says.

READ THE FULL STATEMENT HERE:

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