Sarah Ferguson has said she was maybe the “most persecuted” woman in the history of the royal family.
The Duchess of York, 62, also confessed she still loves Prince Andrew and “will stay by his side” even in the face of allegations he sexually abused a Virginia Giuffre, an alleged victim of Jeffrey Epstein, when she was under 18.
In an interview with the French magazine Madame Figaro, Fergie discussed the media coverage she experienced for years following her separation from Andrew in 1992.
She said: “I was maybe the most persecuted woman in the history of the royal family, but I’m still here.
“The bruised reed that doesn’t break is in my DNA.”
Regarding her former husband, who has vehemently denied the claims by Ms Giuffre, Ms Ferguson said: “I loved him and I still love him today, I will stay by his side, because I believe in him, he is a good man.”
Ms Giuffre, now 38, is suing the Duke of York for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was just 17.
She has claimed that in March 2001, she was trafficked to London by Epstein and forced to have sex with the Duke.
The Duke of York has said he has “no recollection” of ever meeting her and has always denied any wrongdoing.
Ms Giuffre also has alleged that she was made to have sex with Andrew at Epstein’s Manhattan home and on his private Caribbean island, Little St James.
In the interview published on Sunday, the Duchess of York said her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie are her priority and that being a mother was the one thing she has done best in her life.
Discussing her latest novel, Her Heart for a Compass, she said writing it while under lockdown was therapeutic and boosted her self-esteem.
She said she had been approached by a French production company about her book’s film rights, according to MailOnline, and mused that she would like to see the novel turned into a French movie starring Lea Seydoux.
Her interview came as Andrew’s former friend, Ghislaine Maxwell, stands trial, facing charges of recruiting, grooming and abusing four underage girls for Epstein.
Maxwell, 59, is alleged to have gained the trust of teenage girls as young as 14 and normalised sex for her partner Epstein to abuse them between 1994 and 2004.
The full indictment against Maxwell lists six charges, including conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, enticement of a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts and conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
Maxwell, who has been held in a US jail since her arrest in July last year, denies all charges. If convicted she faces up to 70 years in prison.
Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.