Sarah Ferguson said she may be “the most persecuted woman in the royal family.”
“I was maybe the most persecuted woman in the history of the royal family, but I’m still here,” she told French magazine Madame Figaro.
“The bruised reed that doesn’t break is my DNA,” the 62-year-old added.
Ferguson married Queen Elizabeth II’s son in 1986. They welcomed a daughter named Princess Beatrice in 1988, followed by Princess Eugenie in 1990. The couple called it quits in 1996. But for years, she was the target of U.K. tabloids and was coined harsh nicknames such as “Duchess of Pork” and “frumpy Fergie” among others. The press also pitted the duchess against her pal Princess Diana.
Ferguson said that that being a mother was her number one priority and noted it was the one thing she has done best in life. Ferguson also revealed that she and Andrew, 61, have a close bond as co-parents.
“I loved him and I still love him today,” she said. “I will stay by his side because I believe in him, he is a good man.”
In October, British police announced that they will not take any action against Andrew after a review prompted by a Jeffrey Epstein accuser claiming that he sexually assaulted her.
Virginia Giuffre claims she was trafficked by the American financier to have sex with Andrew in London in 2001 when she was 17 and a minor under U.S. law. She is suing the prince in a U.S. court.
Andrew has denied the allegations. He told the BBC in a 2019 interview that he never had sex with Giuffre, saying: “It didn’t happen.”
In August, London’s Metropolitan Police force began a review of allegations connected to late convicted sex offender Epstein. Police chief Cressida Dick said that “no one is above the law.”
The force said in a statement at the time that its “review has concluded and we are taking no further action.”
It also said it would take no action over allegations, first reported by Channel 4 News, that Epstein’s alleged accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, trafficked, groomed and abused women and girls in the U.K.
The force said it is continuing to liaise with other law enforcement agencies who are leading the investigation into matters associated with Epstein.
Andrew has been banished from public royal duties amid the scandal over his friendship with convicted pedophile Epstein, who was found dead in a federal detention center in New York in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. His death at age 66 was ruled a suicide.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.