Defamation lawyer ‘warned Prince Andrew not to do disastrous Newsnight interview’

Belfast-based Paul Tweed told royal’s then-chief of staff interview with Emily Maitlis was a ‘bad idea’

A Belfast-based defamation lawyer has told a documentary he urged Britain’s Prince Andrew not to speak to the BBC before his disastrous Newsnight interview over his links to paedophile US financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Paul Tweed said he warned the royal’s then-chief of staff Amanda Thirsk the interview was a “bad idea” two days prior to the prince sitting down with Emily Maitlis in November 2019.

Mr Tweed, who throughout his 30-year career has acted for numerous celebrities and senior political figures North and South, said Ms Thirsk then “abruptly” put the phone down on him.

The lawyer told Channel 4’s Andrew – The Problem Prince he also wanted to know why nobody put a stop to the interview. “At the back of my mind I thought: ‘Somebody’s going to stop this’… Well, what do you do?” he said.


Mr Tweed said his appearance on the two-part documentary was “with the knowledge and agreement of the family”.

‘Very naive’

He told Channel 4 the royal’s association with Epstein was “totally ill-judged, totally inappropriate” – adding that he was “very naive”.

Commenting on the exchange with Ms Thirsk, Mr Tweed said: “Amanda called me… She just said: ‘I’m just letting you know the duke has decided to do the Newsnight interview.’

“I said: ‘Is he mad? No way, no, no, no. That’s a bad idea. You should not do it.’

“Amanda just said: ‘Look, Paul, I gotta go. I’ll call you later.’ The phone was put down abruptly and that was it.”

Mr Tweed said the impact of the interview on Prince Andrew and his family was “horrendous”, but believed there was a way back for him in public life. - Press Association