A US television worker has been sacked after bombshell footage was leaked of a rival network news anchor lamenting an alleged cover-up involving paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
A CBS News staffer believed to have had access to the tape of ABC News anchor Amy Robach raging against her employer was fired over the leak, according to multiple TV sources.
The woman was reportedly a former employee of ABC News who had moved on to work at rival network CBS News, according to the New York Post.
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ABC executives alerted CBS News about the staffer "as a courtesy" a TV source told the publication.
Two sources familiar with the matter confirmed the staffer had been fired, New York Magazine reports.
News.com.au has contacted CBS News for comment.
An ABC News spokesperson earlier said the station was "pursuing all avenues to determine the source of the leak".
It's not yet clear whether the woman leaked the tape – which was recorded on a "hot mic" in July – or may have showed it to others who passed it on. A CBS spokesperson declined to comment on the matter.
The damning footage was released by conservative web organisation Project Veritas on Tuesday. In the clip, Ms Robach slams CBS News for shelving her interview with Epstein's "sex slave" Virginia Roberts Giuffre three years earlier.
"I've had this story for three years, I've had this interview with Virginia Roberts," she said, referring to the unaired interview.
Ms Roberts, who now goes by her married name Giuffre, has alleged she was Epstein's sex slave from the age of 16 and that he forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew at his private island. Ms Roberts also made allegations about former President Bill Clinton, Ms Robach said in the video.
"We would not put it on the air," Ms Robach continued.
"First of all, I was told, 'Who's Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.' Then the palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways.
"We were so afraid we wouldn't be able to interview Kate and Will, that also quashed the story … She told me everything, she had pictures, she had everything. She was in hiding for 12 years, we convinced her to come out, we convinced her to talk to us. It was unbelievable what we had. (Bill) Clinton — we had everything."
She continued, "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, like every day I get more and more pissed because I'm just like, 'Oh my God … What we had was unreal.' Other women backing it up. Brad Edwards, (Ms Roberts' lawyer), the attorney, three years ago saying, 'There will come a day, when we will realise Jeffrey Epstein was the most prolific paedophile this country had ever known.' I had it all three years ago."
Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton have both denied Ms Roberts' allegations.
In repeated statements, the Duke of York has said the claims – which were struck from the record by a judge in UK legal proceedings in 2015 as being "immaterial and impertinent" – are "false and without foundation".
"Any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors is categorically untrue," a statement from Buckingham Palace said.
Epstein, a disgraced financier and convicted sex offender, was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell in August while awaiting trial on new sex trafficking charges involving underage girls, sparking widespread outrage and disbelief.
Following Epstein's death, Prince Andrew issued a statement saying that he met the financier in 1999 and had "stayed in a number of his residences" but that "during the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year".
"At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction," the statement said.
"I have said previously that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release in 2010, and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we know now. I have tremendous sympathy for all those affected by his actions and behaviour."