The BBC has been accused of allowing Virginia Roberts Giuffre to "cry a lot" but failing to interrogate her over her claims that she was forced to sleep with the Duke of York, sources close to the Duke have complained.

Insiders have protested over the differing treatment of the Duke and of Giuffre in two separate interviews - one by Newsnight and the other by Panorama.

The attempt to rally around the Duke follows the latest blow to his reputation in the wake of Monday's prime time BBC programme, reports Telegraph.

Audiences on social media largely appeared to believe the account given by Giuffre over the defence offered by the Duke - that included his insistence he did not sweat and that he had been visiting a Pizza Express restaurant on a night when he is alleged to have had sex with her in 2001.

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Buckingham Palace declined to say whether the Duke was suing Giuffre for defamation.

Prince Andrew appears on BBC Newsnight with Emily Maitlis. Photo / BBC
Prince Andrew appears on BBC Newsnight with Emily Maitlis. Photo / BBC

Giuffre's Panorama appearance was her first British television interview. She alleged that, aged 17, she was forced to have sex with the Duke, which she described as "disgusting".

The fallout from the Duke's earlier interview with Newsnight's Emily Maitlis was further demonstrated yesterday when he was omitted from the Royal family line-up meeting Donald Trump as the US president visits London for a Nato summit.

Asked about the Duke, whom he met on a state visit in the summer and previously in Florida in 2000, Mr Trump replied: "I don't know Prince Andrew."

The interview with Newsnight forced the Duke to step down from public duties and relinquish more than 200 charity patronages.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre during the interview. Photo / BBC
Virginia Roberts Giuffre during the interview. Photo / BBC

But friends of the Duke and his ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, believe he was treated harshly by the BBC investigating his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender and multi-millionaire who killed himself in August while awaiting trial for further crimes.

A source said: "I don't think he [the Duke] has been given a fair trial. She wasn't cross-examined on any of the details. She was allowed to say what she wanted and cry a lot."

Giuffre, 35, has accused the Duke, 59, of having sex with her on three occasions in 2001 and 2002 after being trafficked by Epstein.

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The BBC said: "We believe it is important that people hear both sides of the story. We stand by our journalism."

Buckingham Palace said that the Duke had "emphatically denied any sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts".