PRINCE Andrew’s former girlfriend Koo Stark has spoken publicly about their relationship for the first time in more than 30 years – to rebut claims he slept with a teenage “sex slave”.
American born Miss Stark dated Prince Andrew after he returned from the Falklands War in 1982 when she was 28. They were together for 18 months and she still describes the Duke as a “dear friend”.
Speaking to a Sunday newspaper, the actress said the sex allegations against Prince Andrew in legal papers filed in the US by Virginia Roberts amounted to an “assassination of his character”.
Miss Roberts alleges she was forced to offer sexual favours to the Duke when she was 17 and 18 by his financier friend Jeffrey Epstein who is a convicted sex offender.
Andrew, 54, vehemently denies the claims and Buckingham Palace has stated they are “false and without foundation”.
Describing the Duke as “honourable,” Miss Stark said she was certain Prince Andrew would not take advantage of a “sex slave” and that the Royal Family was distressed by the allegations.
And she said he would have no need to have women “supplied” for sex as he was “very attractive to women.”
Miss Stark said: “My first reaction was fury, then disbelief, at the lurid allegations being made against a man I have known well for more than 30 years.
“He was being accused of the very worst kind of behaviour. The stain on his reputation is spilling across his life like blood from a new wound.
“I know too much about the media and the law courts to allow the disgrace of an innocent man,
“That is why I have decided to reveal some details of my relationship with Andrew.
“My view is clear: I believe him to be a good man and I believe I can help rebut, with authority, the allegations against him.”
Miss Stark said that Prince Andrew was a “dear friend” and godfather to her daughter.
She added: “I’ve only known him to be honourable and honest, with Christian values. I dismissed this latest story as just another sexual slur to add to the list of criticisms of him in recent years.
“I couldn’t shrug off Virginia Roberts’ assassination of his character any more than he has been able to.”
Describing Prince Andrew as a “normal boyfriend,” Miss Stark said he had been “playful and tactile” when they were together.
And she revealed when he first asked her to Buckingham, Palace, she thought he was inviting her to a petrol station.
“A note I found the next morning said ‘come to BP tomorrow for lunch’. Initially I wondered why he was taking me to a petrol station – it took me a moment to realise he meant Buckingham Palace.”
Virginia Roberts claims she had three encounters aged 17 and 18 with Prince Andrew - one in New York, one in London and one at Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean.
Last month, a letter addressed to Andrew at Buckingham Palace asking him to take part in a two-hour interview was filed in a Florida court by lawyers acting on behalf of Ms Roberts.
Miss Stark said Virginia Roberts and her lawyers were “waging a war through the American courts”, adding: “American style litigation takes no prisoners.”
A photo taken by Andrew of the Queen with the Earl and Countess of Wessex and released on Facebook last week is being interpreted as an act of faith by Her Majesty.
In a statement, Buckingham Palace said: “We would not comment beyond what we have already stated in respect of Virginia Roberts.”