ABC News is the latest network accused of killing reporting on sex crimes allegedly perpetrated by powerful men. According to video released by the far right wing organization Project Veritas, ABC News anchor Amy Robach was caught on a hot mic complaining that network brass kept her story on pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein from airing.
The video, which was allegedly recorded during a commercial break in August, features Robach airing grievances to her colleagues regarding the network deciding not to air an interview she conducted in 2015 with Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
“I’ve had this story for three years. I’ve had this interview with Virginia Roberts [Giuffre],” the 20/20 anchor said in the video. “We would not put it on the air. First of all, I was told, ‘Who’s Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.’”
This reasoning sounds similar to one of the excuses that Ronan Farrow claims in his new book, Catch and Kill, that NBC News used to push back on his reporting about Harvey Weinstein. Per Farrow, whose story about Weinstein’s alleged sexual assaults ultimately ran in The New Yorker and earned him a Pulitzer, the network that previously employed him argued viewers wouldn’t know who the movie mogul is.
Robach added that Buckingham Palace pressured the network to drop the story because of the underage sex abuse accusations leveled against Epstein pal Prince Andrew. “We were so afraid that we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate and Will. That also quashed the story. … It was unbelievable what we had,” Robach said. “[Bill] Clinton—we had everything. I tried for three years to get it on to no avail and now it’s all coming out and it’s like these new revelations. And I freaking had all of it. I’m so pissed right now. Every day I get more and more pissed. … What we had was unreal.”
Robach’s comments followed Epstein’s July arrest on sex trafficking charges. On August 22, NPR reported that Robach interviewed Giuffre “for more than an hour” for a report that ultimately never aired.
“At the time, in 2015, Epstein was walking around a free man, comparing his criminal behavior to stealing a bagel,” Giuffre told NPR in August. “I really wanted a spotlight shone on him and the others who acted with him and enabled his vile and shameless conduct against young girls and young women.” She added: “I viewed the ABC interview as a potential game-changer.”
Giuffre said she wasn’t told why the interview never aired. Former Epstein lawyer Alan Dershowitz told NPR that he actively tried to block the ABC News interview from coming out. “I did not want to see [Giuffre’s] credibility enhanced by ABC,” Dershowitz said. Giuffre claimed that Epstein ordered her to have sex with Dershowitz while she was underage.
In a statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter, Robach explained that she never intended her grievances to go public.
“As a journalist, as the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration,” Robach’s statement reads. “I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn’t air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards about her allegations. My comments about Prince Andrew and her allegation that she had seen Bill Clinton on Epstein’s private island were in reference to what Virginia Roberts said in that interview in 2015. I was referencing her allegations—not what ABC News had verified through our reporting.”
She added: “The interview itself, while I was disappointed it didn’t air, didn’t meet our standards. In the years since no one ever told me or the team to stop reporting on Jeffrey Epstein, and we have continued to aggressively pursue this important story.”
ABC News issued the following statement to THR: “At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story. Ever since we’ve had a team on this investigation and substantial resources dedicated to it. That work has led to a two-hour documentary and six-part podcast that will air in the new year.”