Royal expert’s baffling defence of Epstein
A HIGH-PROFILE British socialite and royal expert has sparked outrage as she appeared to claim underage sex with prostitutes is not the same as paedophilia.
Lady Colin Campbell, who authored a best-selling biography about Princess Diana, said while she was not defending Jeffrey Epstein, there was a "difference" between a minor and a child, reports The Sun.
Speaking on Good Morning Britain, the 70-year-old said: "You all seem to have forgotten that Jeffrey Epstein, the offence with which he was charged, and for which he was imprisoned, was soliciting prostitution from minors.
"That is not the same thing as paedophilia."
But a stunned Piers Morgan, who hosts the breakfast show, hit back, asking: "What do you call it?"
She then answered: "Prostitution."
In the quick-fire debate, Morgan then asked: "If you solicit a 14-year-old for prostitution, you're a paedophile."
Lady Colin added: "Well, I'm not justifying Jeffrey Epstein.
"Paedophilia, I suspect there's a difference between a minor and a child."
Under the local law, a child and a minor is the same thing - someone who is under the age of 18. The same law applies in Australia.
In 2008, Epstein was jailed for 18 months in Florida after being guilty of prostitution charges including soliciting a minor for prostitution.
Prince Andrew has long been under fire for his friendship with the disgraced financier - speaking at length for the first time about the pair's relationship and what he knew in a recent interview with the BBC, which copped widespread backlash.
He told journalist Emily Maitlis that he had visited Epstein in 2010 to tell him it was "inappropriate" for them to be seen together after he was convicted.
On GMB, Lady Colin also argued "civilised" people would always dump a friend face-to-face, adding, "He's made many mistakes. The fact of the matter is you cannot criticise someone because they aren't as bright as you would like them to be."
Prince Andrew was widely criticised for his interview for failing to sympathise with Epstein's victims.
But since the TV quizzing went to air, he reportedly told friends: "I regret that I didn't make it clear in the interview that I have great sympathy for anyone who was abused by Jeffrey Epstein.
"When I said I was shocked, I thought that was implicit. In 2010, none of us had any idea of the extent of his wrongdoing."
The Duke, 59, was believed to have been unaware of the worldwide outrage sparked by his interview with Emily Maitlis.
The Sun also revealed how he told his mother the Queen that the interview went well - claiming he had put to bed any criticism over his links to sex offender Epstein.
It is unknown if the Queen watched the program, though she is said to have been the only member of the royal family to have been told of it beforehand.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission