It’s been a while since there’s been a Royal scandal and, since the Royal Family is refusing to speak on the subject of former Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson’s videotaped bribe-taking for access to Prince Andrew, the current scandal just might remain peripheral to Buckingham Palace. But no matter how peripheral, any kind of scandal involving British royalty is news. And Sarah Ferguson’s offer of unlimited access to Prince Andrew, her former husband, to an undercover investigative reporter from News of the World posing as a businessman constitutes scandal of the highest order. And it was caught on video.
It seems that the former Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, met with a News of the World reporter in a New York hotel Tuesday, wherein a $40,000 bribe changed hands that served as a ‘good faith’ agreement where Sarah Ferguson promised the businessman “everything you would ever wish for” as soon as a wire transfer was made in the sum of 500,000 British pounds ($725,000) to her private bank account. “And I can open any door you want,” she then insisted. “I will for you.”
News of the World notes that Prince Andrew, fourth in line to the throne of Britain, knew nothing of the dealings of his ex-wife. Prince Andrew works as an unpaid United Kingdom Special Representative for Trade and Investment. Sarah Ferguson not only promised access to her former husband and his trade office, she claimed that the Prince knew about her dealings and was willing to fix deals as long as he was cut in on the profits.
But why would the Duchess of York make such promises? “He knows that he’s had to underwrite me up to now because I’ve got no money,” Sarah Ferguson told the faux businessman. “So if you want to meet him in your business, look after me and he’ll look after you. . . you’ll get it back tenfold.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Sarah Ferguson has fallen on some difficult financial times. She has said on several occasions that her divorce settlement with Prince Andrew (1996) was “stingy.” And even though Ferguson has written children’s books, been part of documentaries, and was a spokesperson for Weight Watcher’s, she still seems to need a substantial amount of money.
Kate Waddington, a spokeswoman for Ferguson, confirmed that the video recording of the ex-Duchess of York and the News of the World reporter was authentic and that Ferguson was “devastated,” regretting the embarrassment she has caused.
Thus far, despite the video, the embarrassment, and the scandal, there seems to have been nothing illegal about Sarah Ferguson’s actions. Undoubtedly, there will be an investigation.
As noted, Buckingham Palace refuses to comment, pointing out that Sarah Ferguson is no longer a member of the Royal Family.