Prince Andrew’s defense against child sex crimes stokes conspiracy theory flames

Over the weekend, Prince Andrew gave his first interview since becoming mired in the Jeffrey Epstein child trafficking scandal. But the British royal may want to rethink his defense.

Andrew is one of the more famous people tied to Epstein, who he has admitted was his friend. Andrew has been accused of raping Virginia Giuffre when she was being held by Epstein as a sex slave.

In an interview with BBC News, Andrew said he couldn’t have committed the rape because on the night in question, he was taking his daughter out for pizza.

Whether or not it’s true, the idea that his defense would involve a Pizza Express struck some as ludicrous given that since 2016, pizza places have been at the center of child sex trafficking conspiracy theories.

Following the release of Hillary Clinton campaign’s emails, far-right conspiracy theorists spread the belief that Democrats were running a child sex trafficking ring out of a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor called Comet Ping Pong.

The conspiracy, known as Pizzagate, went so mainstream that eventually, a man went to Comet Ping Pong with a rifle to investigate. And now a man accused of raping a child from a sex trafficking ring says he was eating pizza instead? Unsurprisingly, the statement stoked the conspiracy theory’s flames.

Andrew’s interview was widely panned. In addition to the pizza excuse, he said the accuser’s description of him “profusely sweating” didn’t add up because he had a medical condition that prevented him from sweating.

When asked if he disapproved of Epstein’s, Andrew said rather tepidly, “Do I regret the fact that he has quite obviously conducted himself in a manner unbecoming? Yes.”

Meanwhile, thanks to Andrew’s interview, the Pizza Express in Woking, England, is getting some fun treatment—at least compared to what Comet Ping Pong went through.

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David Covucci

David Covucci

David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]