Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, is taking a step back from public duties amid the controversy surrounding his association with Jeffrey Epstein.

The royal faced criticism around the world after doing a recent BBC Newsnight interview to address his ties with Epstein.

On Wednesday, the palace released a statement from Prince Andrew to ET Canada: “It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organizations and charities that I am proud to support.”

“Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission.”

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“I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathize with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”

Epstein was found dead in his prison cell in New York earlier this year where he was being held on sex trafficking charges.

One of the late billionaire’s alleged victims, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, accused Prince Andrew of having sex with her when she was underage.