A TripAdvisor spokeswoman said: “The recent media attention caused a spike of spoof review submissions that did not meet our guidelines (our guidelines state that a review must describe a first-hand experience) and we have taken the decision to temporarily suspend hosting new reviews on the restaurant’s TripAdvisor listing page.”
Speaking to BBC’s Newsnight program, Andrew denied he slept with Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims, on three separate occasions, twice while she was underage, saying one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he spent the day with his daughter Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.
He said: “I was with the children and I’d taken [daughter Princess] Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at, I suppose, sort of 4pm or 5pm in the afternoon.”
When asked why he would remember a meal at Pizza Express 18 years later, he said: “Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do.”
Within minutes of his explanation, TripAdvisor and Google were flooded with fake reviews of the Woking restaurant as viewers satirised the duke’s comments.
One reviewer wrote: “Love this place. I had a cracking pizza here in 2001. I remember it was 2001 because it was very strange the guy next to me had an American Hot pizza with extra chillies… not a drop of sweat came off him. Very odd.”
The sweating reference was a nod to Andrew saying in his BBC interview that a claim he was perspiring heavily at a London nightclub was wrong as he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.
Andrew is stepping back from public duties with the Queen’s permission because of his links with the Epstein.