Despite scandal, Britain's Fergie accepts charity award

25th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain's Sarah Ferguson late Monday accepted an award for her work with a children's charity, amid a swirl of scandal after she was secretly filmed accepting cash for access to her former husband Prince Andrew.

US television footage of the gala event showed Ferguson looking poised and polished as she accepted the award from the Variety International group, despite the media storm around her back home in Britain.

Ferguson in brief remarks at the soiree confessed late Monday to having had "quite a heavy day," one day after the News of the World went public with its story of having set up the duchess

"I hate grownups, and I love children. Thank you very much," she said as she accepted her award at the Hollywood event, without directly alluding to the payola scandal which has become huge news on both side of the Atlantic.

Ferguson, who divorced from Queen Elizabeth II's second son in 1996, apologized Sunday for a "serious lapse in judgment" after the release of the film footage.

The video released by News of the World shows Sarah promising to provide a reporter posing to be a businessman extensive access to Prince Andrew in exchange for 500,000 pounds (723,000 dollars).

Andrew, as Britain's special representative for international trade and investment, "meets the most amazing people. And he just throws them my way," the duchess is heard to say on the tape.

Recent reports have said Ferguson is in dire financial straits, including legal action from a law firm over unpaid bills worth up to 100,000 pounds and that her US company is expected to close with huge debts.

The duchess spoke openly about her money troubles to the News of the World reporter who set her up, revealing that her settlement from her 1996 divorce was only 15,000 pounds.

"I absolutely have not a pot to piss in," she says during the videotaped sting.

© 2010 AFP

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