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Prince Andrew steps back from public duties after his much-criticized interview about Jeffrey Epstein ties

Prince Andrew interview sparks near-universal condemnation

London (CNN)Prince Andrew said in a statement Wednesday that he would step back from public duties "for the foreseeable future" following a firestorm of criticism over an interview with the BBC about his association with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Here's the full statement from the Duke of York:

"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 organizations and charities that I am proud to support.

"Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.

"I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathize 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. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."

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