ABC News anchor Amy Robach was caught on a hot mic in August accusing network executives of “quashing” her exclusive reporting on alleged serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein three years prior.
A video of the incident, obtained by the right-wing opposition research group Project Veritas, shows Robach venting her frustration at network executives for refusing to air an interview she conducted with Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts in 2016.
“I had this interview with [Epstein victim] Virginia Roberts; we would not put it on the air,” Robach said. “The [British royal] Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways.”
Roberts has alleged that she was forced to perform sex acts on Prince Andrew, next in line to the British monarchy, when she was seventeen.
Robach alleged that ABC was afraid it wouldn’t be able to interview Prince William and spouse Kate Middleton if they ran the story on Roberts, so they “quashed the story.”
“I tried for three years to get it on, to no avail,” Robach complained. “What we had was unreal.” She then said she believed Epstein, who was found dead hanging in his cell in August, was murdered.
“Do I think he was killed? A hundred percent, yes, I do,” Robach said.
Robach and ABC released statements immediately following the leak of the video in which they denied allegations of impropriety and argued that they did not air the interview because they were unable to corroborate Roberts’s allegations.
“I was caught in a private moment of frustration,” Robach wrote. “I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn’t air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards about her allegations.”
“At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story,” ABC said in its statement.
Jeffrey Epstein, who had previously been indicted for sexually abusing underage girls in Florida in 2008, was again indicted in July on sex-trafficking charges after being accused of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls in the wake of his release from prison in 2008.
Roberts, who was one of the original accusers, alleged he kept her as a sex-slave and forced her to perform sex acts on Prince Andrew, as well as famed defense attorney Alan Dershowitz. Dershowitz has vehemently denied the allegations.
“I want to vindicate my First Amendment right to be able to say until the day I die: I never met Virginia [Roberts]. I never had any sexual encounter with her, and she knows that,” Dershowitz told reporters in September.
The scandal over Epstein’s actions also ensnared former president Bill Clinton, who flew on Epstein’s private jet 26 times from 2002 to 2003.
“President Clinton knows nothing about the terrible crimes Jeffrey Epstein pleaded guilty to in Florida some years ago, or those with which he has been recently charged in New York,” read a statement from Clinton released July 8.
The new allegations against Epstein were revealed in June of this year by Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown, who gathered testimony from 80 alleged victims of Epstein who said they were part of a sex trafficking ring run by the financier.
On August 10, Epstein was found dead hanging in his cell. New York City’s Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Barbara Sampson ruled the death a suicide, while forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden, hired by Epstein’s brother, concluded his death was a homicide.
Project Veritas, which exposed the ABC video, attempts to infiltrate news organizations and left-wing groups to expose supposed liberal bias and corruption. The group has a history of controversial gambits by its founder, James O’Keefe. A plaintiff successfully sued O’Keefe for defamation in 2017, and Florida has barred him from seeking donations in the state due to his criminal record.