Prince Andrew's Disastrous Public Downfall Gets The Netflix Treatment

Prince Harry has been making headlines around the world with his tell-all memoir "Spare," in which the Duke of Sussex discussed a whole range of behind-the-scenes royal drama. One point of contention brought up in the book is that when Harry and his wife Meghan Markle were contemplating stepping back from royal duties, he was confident that they'd continue to have security protection, particularly considering the fact that his disgraced uncle, Prince Andrew, still had it. 

Harry wrote that Andrew "was embroiled in a shameful scandal, accused of the sexual assault of a young woman and no one had so much suggested that he lose his security," as reported by Vanity FairThe duke was referencing the sexual assault accusation by Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Andrew was publicly named in December 2014 in court filings connected to Epstein and the sex trafficking of minors, per The Guardian

And, in November 2019, a few months after Epstein passed away in prison, the Duke of York sat down for an interview with Emily Maitlis for BBC's "Newsnight" to defend himself against any allegations of wrongdoing. It didn't exactly go the way Andrew hoped; the backlash was swift and he eventually ended up stepping down from his position (via CBS News). And now Andrew faces having to relive it all again if he chooses to watch the upcoming Netflix movie based on the scandal. 

Gillian Anderson will reportedly star in the upcoming movie

In "Scoop," the upcoming Netflix movie about Prince Andrew's infamous interview, legendary actor Gillian Anderson will reportedly play Emily Maitlis, the BBC journalist who was asking the questions. The Duke of York himself will be played by Rufus Sewell. As for Sam McAlister, the BBC producer who helped arrange the exclusive interview, she'll be played by Billie Piper, according to Variety.

McAlister wrote about the interview, as well as many others, in her book "Scoops: The BBC's Most Shocking Interviews from Prince Andrew to Steven Seagal," which will be used as the basis for the film. In it, the reporter revealed she got Andrew to speak on the record about Jeffrey Epstein by arguing that by not saying anything "the public was drawing conclusions on his guilt," per the Los Angeles Times.

"Scoop" will take a look at everything it took to get the duke and the palace alike to agree to the interview, which ended up causing "the catastrophic fall from grace of the queen's 'favorite son,'" as Netflix's logline for the movie notes. Philip Martin, who has worked on "The Crown," will direct. He promised that the movie will go "inside the breathtaking sequence of events that led to the interview with Prince Andrew" and examine issues of "power, privilege and differing perspectives and how [...] we judge what's true." 

Prince Andrew didn't say he regretted his friendship with Epstein

While "Scoop" may not be a documentary, there's evidently no lack of real-life drama to work with. Some of the notable revelations from the infamous interview included Prince Andrew's claim that he'd never met Virginia Giuffre (referred to by her maiden name Roberts) much less had sex with her, despite a photograph of them together, and that he was at a pizza restaurant outside of London with his daughter on the day of the alleged assault, per the BBC

The Duke of York also infamously claimed to be unable to sweat after an incident in the Falklands War, which was why Giuffre's accusation that he'd sweated all over her at a nightclub couldn't possibly be true. CNN reports that Giuffre's lawyers asked for medical evidence to confirm this inability to sweat, in fact. Andrew admitted he'd been to Epstein's private island, on his plane, and to the businessman's house — including after Epstein had been convicted as a sex offender.

The prince described it as simply a "convenient place to stay," reasoning that both Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein had visited Windsor Castle and Sandringham based on his invitation (via the BBC). Andrew also noted that he didn't regret his friendship with Epstein. The fallout can perhaps best be described by a tweet by royal correspondent Charlie Proctor, who asserted: "That was a plane crashing into an oil tanker, causing a tsunami, triggering a nuclear explosion level bad." 

The Netflix movie comes after his settlement with Virginia Giuffre

In 2022, after being stripped of his military titles and royal patronages, Prince Andrew settled out of court with Virginia Giuffre. Following the settlement, Emily Maitlis wrote about the "Newsnight" interview for the BBC. She acknowledged that everybody understood the importance of what they were doing: "My editor was adamant that this should serve as the answers to questions that might one day arise in any trial. We would have them all on tape." 

Maitlis also questioned why the prince would settle if Andrew, as he said in their explosive chat, hadn't ever met Giuffre in the first place. Time will tell if and how any of the recent developments in the case will be addressed in the Netflix movie. "Scoop" won't be the first film doing a deep dive into Prince Andrew's scandalous connection to Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell either. 

"Prince Andrew: Banished" debuted on Peacock in late 2022. The 90-minute documentary details the accusations against Andrew and the royal scandal he caused. There was also an ITV documentary, "Ghislaine, Prince Andrew and the Paedophile," which focused primarily on Maxwell but offered details about her friendship with Andrew too. No word yet on when "Scoop" will be available to watch on Netflix but suffice it to say we'll definitely be tuning in. 

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).