Sarah Ferguson to Oprah on sting: I was drinking

Mon May 31, 2010 6:05pm EDT
 
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Britain's Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, has told Oprah Winfrey she was drinking and "in the gutter" during a videotaped sting in which she apparently offered to sell access to her ex-husband, Prince Andrew.

"I'm aware of the fact that I've been drinking, you know, that I was not in my right place," Ferguson said in an interview set to air on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Tuesday.

Ferguson said she had seen the video while traveling through airports recently but had not sat down to watch it closely: "I haven't faced the devil in the face. Because I was in the gutter at that moment," she said, according to a transcript released by the show on Monday.

Tape of the sting was posted on the website of London's News of the World, which set up the meeting. In it, Ferguson appears to ask for $40,000 in cash and 500,000 pounds ($718,500) by wire transfer, in exchange for introducing an undercover reporter to the prince.

The newspaper's sting operation has caused a major embarrassment for the 50-year-old Ferguson, who has two daughters with Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth and fourth in line to the throne.

The couple divorced in 1996 and the prince, also known as the Duke of York, acts as Britain's special representative for international trade and investment.

"The Oprah Winfrey Show" is among the top-rated daytime television talk shows in the United States and is seen on 215 U.S. stations and in some 144 countries around the world.

(Reporting by Lisa Baertlein; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Cynthia Osterman)

 
<p>Sarah Ferguson, Britain's Duchess of York, speaks during the opening ceremonies of the BookExpo America in New York May 26, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton</p>