An ABC News anchor was caught on a hot mic appearing to suggest the network could have reported a major story on wealthy financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein years ago but chose to squash it instead.
Video of “20/20” co-anchor Amy Robach speaking to her producer in August was leaked to Project Veritas.
“I’ve had the story for three years, I’ve had this interview with Virginia Roberts. We would not put it on the air,” Robach said. “First of all, I was told, ‘Who’s Jeffrey Epstein, no one knows who that is, this is a stupid story.'”
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Epstein, who died this past August in what authorities say was a suicide, was convicted in 2008 of soliciting sex with a minor.
However, he was given what many saw as a sweetheart deal by prosecutors in which he served just over a year in prison.
Allegations that he sexually abused and trafficked dozens of underage girls have gained more media attention in recent years. Epstein was a known associate of high-profile figures around the world, including Britain’s Prince Andrew and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
One accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, has said Prince Andrew had sex with her on multiple occasions, according to the New York Post. She has also said she saw Clinton, accompanied by “two young girls,” in 2002 at Epstein’s private island, known as “orgy island,” though she said she never saw Clinton engaging in sexual activities.
Both Clinton and Prince Andrew have denied any wrongdoing, and both have expressed regret over having associated with Epstein.
Robach, meanwhile, said in the leaked footage that her report included accusations about Prince Andrew and Clinton.
“The palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us in a million different ways. We were so afraid we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate and Will, that we, that also quashed the story,” she said, referring to Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton.
Robach said “we convinced” Giuffre to “come out” of hiding after 12 years.
“It was unbelievable what we had — Clinton, we had everything,” Robach said. “I tried for three years to get it on, to no avail, and now it’s all coming out, and it’s like these new revelations and I freaking had all of it.
“I’m so p—ed right now, like every day I get more and more p—ed.”
Watch Project Veritas’ full report below:
Robach also said she doesn’t believe the official explanation for Epstein’s death.
“So do I think he was killed?” she said. “A hundred percent, yes I do.
“He made his whole living blackmailing people.”
ABC News and Robach both responded to the leaked footage in statements claiming the story they had on Epstein years ago didn’t meet the network’s editorial standards.
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