Sarah Ferguson accused of cash-for-access: report

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Britain's Duchess of York was filmed allegedly trying to sell access to her ex-husband Prince Andrew for 500,000 pounds to an undercover reporter posing as a businessman, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Buckingham Palace refused to comment on the allegation printed by the News of the World that Sarah Ferguson agreed to have the equivalent of 575,000 euros or 723,000 dollars wired to her British bank account for the favour.

The weekly tabloid said Ferguson had promised to introduce the fake businessman to the prince -- Britain's special representative for international trade and investment.

The paper filmed her allegedly accepting last Tuesday a down-payment of 40,000 dollars (32,000 euros) in cash and it quotes her as saying: "I can open any door you want."

Despite the Duke of York -- Queen Elizabeth II's second son -- knowing nothing about the deal, Ferguson is filmed as saying: "Andrew said to me, 'Tell him 500,000 pounds'.

"He knows that he's had to underwrite me up to now because I've got no money. So if you want to meet him in your business, look after me and he'll look after you... you'll get it back tenfold."

The paper claimed the 50-year-old Duchess met the fake businessman on two occasions -- firstly at a New York hotel and then at the exclusive Mosimann's dining club in London.

It said she was then chauffeured with the reporter to a flat where she was shown on the video apparently shaking on a deal to introduce him to her former husband.

The Duke and Duchess of York divorced in 1996 but have remained close friends.

According to the paper, the Duchess spoke of their relationship, saying: "We're the happiest divorced couple in the world."

© 2010 AFP

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