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article imageTV chiefs axe duchess’s appearances after cash-for-access row

By Andrew John     May 27, 2010 in Entertainment
Television bosses in the UK have reportedly axed a series of reality documentaries starring the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, following the recent row over her recent cash-for-royal-access row.
Digital Spy says Ferguson had been offered a £300,000 deal for three fly-on-the-wall programmes about her personal life, but these are now not expected to go ahead.
Earlier this month, a British Sunday newspaper claimed that the duchess – ex-wife of the Queen’s second son, Prince Andrew – had been filmed offering to sell access to her former husband for £500,000 (US$723,000).
The racy tabloid News of the World claimed that Ferguson was approached by one of its reporters, who posed as a businessman.
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is a trade envoy for the UK and is said to have known nothing about the deal.
“According to the video soundtrack,” said the BBC at the time, “the duchess tells the undercover reporter ‘£500,000 when you can, to me, open doors’.
“She also says the cash would ‘open up all the channels whatever you need, whatever you want, and then that’s what [sic] and then you meet Andrew and that’s fine. And that’s, that’s when you really open up whatever you want.’ ”
The tabloid claimed that Ferguson told the undercover reporter: “Look after me and he’ll look after you . . . you’ll get it back tenfold. I can open any door you want.”
The duchess was quoted as saying that Prince Andrew, who has been the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment since 2001, “never does accept a penny for anything” and, said the BBC, she “describes him as ‘completely whiter than white’.”
She claimed she had financial hardship. “I have not got a bean to my name. I’m a taxpayer, a British taxpayer and I left the royal family for freedom and in freedom it means I am bereft. I’m hopeless.”
Ferguson has since apologised for her behaviour, saying she was “very sorry” and “deeply” regretted the embarrassment she had caused.
Digital Spy quotes a TV source as saying: “She recently finished filming two documentaries and was meant to be doing a follow-up. But nobody wants that now we know she has secret meetings and does dodgy deals.
“She’s an embarrassment and has been axed. It’s not clear whether she’ll be able to work again.”
Ferguson and Andrew met in 1986 and they have two daughters, Princesses Beatrice in 1988 and Eugenie in 1990.
They separated in 1992, but Ferguson and their daughters later moved back into a wing of the former marital home and maintain a close relationship with Prince Andrew.
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