The Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson was filmed offering to sell access to ex-husband Prince Andrew for £500,000 (€575,000), a newspaper claimed today.
The News of the World said Sarah Ferguson promised to introduce an undercover reporter posing as a wealthy businessman to the Prince, who has been the UK’s special representative for international trade and investment since 2001.
The paper claims she was filmed on Tuesday night accepting a $40,000 (€32,000) cash down-payment and it quotes her as saying: “I can open any door you want.”
And it alleges that she asked for the main £500,000 (€575,000) payment to be wired to her UK bank account.
On the video soundtrack, the Duchess apparently tells the undercover reporter: “£500,000 when you can, to me, open doors”.
The paper said despite the Prince knowing nothing about the deal, the Duchess claimed to have discussed it with him: “Andrew said to me: ’Tell him £500,000’. He knows that he’s had to underwrite me up to now because I’ve got no money. 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.”
The paper claims the 50-year-old Duchess met the fake businessman on two occasions - first at a New York hotel and then at the exclusive Mosimann's dining club in Belgravia, London.
It said she was then chauffeured with the reporter to a Mayfair flat where she was shown on the video apparently shaking on a deal to introduce him to her former husband.
The Duke and Duchess of York divorced in 1996 but have remained close friends.
According to the paper, the Duchess spoke of their relationship, saying: “We’re the happiest divorced couple in the world.”
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said they would not comment on the allegations.