How many CEOs are nervously nudging their PR advisers, telling them they knew Jeffrey Epstein a very little bit, and asking what on earth they should do next?
A few, I’m told. Some are horrified to discover that their names and phone numbers are in Epstein’s contacts book, even though they insist they never met the man.
What is their move? If they really have nothing to hide, nothing. If pictures of them at parties with their arms around women young enough to be their daughter are lurking around, awaiting to be discovered, well, they’ve got a problem, and they probably need to tell their families.
The Prince Andrew scandal drags on and is unlikely to go away anytime soon. Charles Moore in The Telegraph had a go at a case for the defence today but it doesn’t convince. The Prince is, Moore reports, only eighth in line to the throne in any case. Right.
What does Andrew do next? Digging his heels in and hoping the issue disappears seems unlikely to work. He is probably going to be asked to stand down from more and more organisations with which he is associated, so perhaps it would be better if he just resigned from them now.
And since he has done one interview, he perhaps needs to do another, expressing sincere regret for the hurt suffered by Epstein’s victims. Or perhaps issue a letter doing the same. Then he can clear his diary and retreat into private life.
One more thought: the whole affair is a good advert for most of the PR industry, since most of the PR industry would have told him that giving an interview to Newsnight was a stupid idea in the first place. Bad advice can be incredibly costly.