“This started with an innocent email asking to do what we call a puff piece,” the author told Us Weekly exclusively on Tuesday, August 2, ahead of her book, SCOOPS: Behind the Scenes of the BBC’s Most Shocking Interviews, which will be released by Simon and Schuster in September.
“On the day of the negotiation [for the interview], I’d say [Prince Andrew] was in very good spirits,” McAlister continued. “He comes from a position of power, and he spent a couple of hours with us. [Then] he threw a complete curve ball at us: his daughter Princess Beatrice came to that final negotiation.”
The Duke of York is the second son of Queen Elizabeth II and the late Prince Philip. The royal previously made headlines for his friendship and past association with Jeffrey Epstein who took his own life in August 2019 while serving time at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York.
fter Andrew was accused of sexual assault by Virginia Roberts Giuffre amid the Epstein scandal, he denied the allegations during the aforementioned interview and noticeably stumbled over himself during the interaction, causing many to believe he was guilty of the allegations.
Though Andrew stepped back from his royal duties amid the controversy, his daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie, stood by his side. A source told Us in December 2019 that the girls were “being really supportive of their dad,” believing “their dad made a huge mistake in judgment ever being associated with Jeffrey Epstein.”
McAlister, for her part, couldn’t believe the Brit allowed his daughter in the room in preparation for the conversation. “I had researched myself … how’s this gonna work? What’s he gonna say, how am I gonna present myself?” she shared with Us. “And then he brought his daughter to negotiate those delicate issues of which he was accused. [To talk about] those associations — which were pernicious and appalling — in front of his young daughter was quite something.”
Though McAlister described the prince as “congenial and casual” during the negotiation process, she noted how things quickly changed after he went in front of the camera.
“The first time he started saying the very same things he’d said to us in the confines of that private small room … I knew that this was going to be an absolute fire starter,” she shared. “But the size of the fire got bigger and bigger as every terrible answer progressed.”
As the booker for the BBC, McAlister noted how important it was for her to share this “really essential part” of the interview with the public — as well as numerous other moments with celebrities like Stormy Daniels, Julian Assange and more.
“That is my story, which is how the interview came about from the very beginning, the first interaction, the first second,” she noted about the book, which is now being turned into a movie, titled Scoop, reported Deadline last month. “I wrote the book now that all of the litigation had concluded to be honest, and I wanted to write this and tell my tiny little part in this huge historic tale.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi