“If you want to meet him in your business, look after me and he’ll look after you … you’ll get it back tenfold,” Ferguson, 50, is seen saying while accepting a $40,000 cash down payment from an undercover News of the World reporter.
“That opens up everything you would ever wish for,” she says. “And I can open any door you want. And I will for you.”
In the video, Ferguson falsely claims Prince Andrew, 50, knew of the deal, and advised her to demand more than $700,000. “He knows that he’s had to underwrite me up to now because I’ve got no money,” she says on the video.
In fact, Andrew reportedly knew nothing of Ferguson’s secret dealings, which will be a royal pain for him as he seeks to maintain his credibility as a British ambassador.
Ferguson has now apologized and says she is “devastated” by the sting operation, according to the Times of London.
“I very deeply regret the situation and the embarrassment caused,” she said. “It is true that my financial situation is under stress. However, that is no excuse for a serious lapse in judgment, and I am very sorry that this has happened. I can confirm that the Duke of York was not aware or involved in any of the discussions that occurred.”
Scotland Yard has been quoted as saying Ferguson did nothing illegal.