Duke of York and Jeffrey Epstein ‘met in early 1990s not 1999’

The Duke of York contradicted a senior aide's account of his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein in his TV interview with Emily Maitlis.

Andrew told BBC Newsnight he first met the since-disgraced financier through "his girlfriend back in 1999".

But in March 2011, the duke's then-private secretary Alastair Watson, who spent nine years in the role, wrote to The Times newspaper saying Andrew met Epstein in the "early 1990s".

Major Watson, who was countering claims the duke was friends with Saif Gaddafi, wrote at the end of his letter: "Finally, there has been widespread comment on the duke's relationship with Jeffrey Epstein.

"The duke has known Mr Epstein since being introduced to him in the early 1990s.

"The insinuations and innuendos that have been made in relation to the duke are without foundation."

Convicted sex offender Epstein took his own life while imprisoned earlier this year.