By Jeff Labrecque
Updated March 08, 2011 at 05:36 PM EST

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, apologized publicly for accepting a loan from a convicted sex offender. Prince Andrew’s ex-wife told the Evening Standard that she was sorry for her “terrible error of judgment” in accepting help from Jeffrey Epstein, a wealthy American financier who spent time in jail for soliciting an underage prostitute. “I personally, on behalf of myself, deeply regret that Jeffrey Epstein became involved in any way with me,” Ferguson said. “I abhor pedophilia and any sexual abuse of children and know that this was a gigantic error of judgment on my behalf … I am just so contrite I cannot say. Whenever I can I will repay the money and will have nothing ever to do with Jeffrey Epstein ever again.”

Prince Andrew was reportedly involved in arranging the transaction, but Ferguson went out of her way to excuse his involvement. “The duke is a man who does not know how to tell an untruth or behave dishonorably,” she said. “There have been errors of judgment but nothing substantive has been done wrong by him, ever.”

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