The now notorious photo of Prince Andrew with Virginia Giuffre is competely genuine, according to her ex-boyfriend and a journalist who both say they saw the original, reports the Daily Mail.

Andrew previously said in his Newsnight interview that the photo of him posing with his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, was a fake.

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But the BBC's Panorama investigation found that Giuffre's (then Robert's) boyfriend at the time, Tony Figueroa, signed an affidavit confirming he had seen the photo in 2001 when it was taken.

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Figueroa said in his statement that Giuffre had also told him she had been forced to have sex with the prince.

Panorama also spoke to the freelance photographer Michael Thomas, who found the photo in a bundle of pictures from Giuffre's travels with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Thomas first copied the photo in 2011.

"It wasn't like she pulled the photo of Prince Andrew out, it was just in amongst the rest of them," he said.

"These were 5x7 photos that looked like they had come from Boots the chemist, nothing more complicated than that."

'They were just typical teenage snaps. There's no way that photo is fake."

The photo, taken inside Ghislaine Maxwell's London home, was first published in 2011 when the Mail on Sunday paid Giuffre $160,000 to publish her story.

Andrew all but claimed the photo was a fake in his BBC Newsnight interview, saying he couldn't remember it being taken and had never been upstairs in Maxwell's home.

Prince Andrew denied that the photo was genuine on his Newsnight interview. Photo / BBC
Prince Andrew denied that the photo was genuine on his Newsnight interview. Photo / BBC

"You can't prove whether or not that photograph is faked because it's a photograph of a photograph of a photograph," the Prince told Newsnight.

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"It's very difficult to be able to prove it but I don't remember that photograph being taken…That's me but whether that's my hand…I have simply no recollection of the photograph ever being taken."

Giuffre told Panorama that she had given the original photo to the FBI in 2011.

"I think the world is getting sick of these ridiculous excuses. It's a real photo. I've given it to the FBI for their investigation and it's an authentic photo. There's a date on the back of it from when it was printed," she said.

A redacted court document uncovered by Panorama showed Giuffre gave 20 photos to the FBI in 2011 and they were all scanned on each side. A reference number was assigned to both the front and back of each photo - but two of these numbers are missing from the court document.

Panorama was told those two numbers belonged to the Prince Andrew photo, which had been removed from the document to protect his privacy.

The Prince denies Giuffre's allegations that she was forced to have sex with him and was trafficked by Epstein.

"The people on the inside are going to keep coming up with these ridiculous excuses - like his arm was elongated or the photo was doctored, or he came to New York to break up with Jeffrey Epstein," Giuffre said on the Panorama interview.

"I mean, come on, I'm calling BS on this, because that's what it is."