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Sarah Ferguson Took Bogus Businessman's Cash to Help a Friend

June 2, 2010, 8:44 am GMT

In a taped chat with Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Ferguson claims that she agreed to receive a reported 40,000 dollars cash since her friend needed 38,000 dollars urgently.

Sarah Ferguson

Former royal Sarah Ferguson has revealed she rushed into a now-infamous meeting with a bogus businessman after he offered her the cash she desperately needed for a friend. The man turned out to be an undercover reporter working for British tabloid the News of the World.

The top secret meeting was staged to con the Duchess of York into offering access to her ex-husband Prince Andrew and her help in a Middle East business deal in return for cash. The meeting was captured on a hidden camera and posted on the News of the World's website, turning Fergie into an international laughing stock.

But the red-faced former royal insists she had a very good reason for taking the bogus businessman's initial cash offer. In a taped chat with U.S. TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey, Ferguson says, "The interviewer had come from a friend of mine and he had come very highly recommended from four different people... and a friend of mine needed $38,000 urgently. He had said, 'I will give you that $38,000...'."

The Duchess of York reveals the video footage of the meeting also featured scenes of her sobbing, but that was cut out of what was posted online. She recalls, "I was crying and I thanked him so much for helping my friend."

At one point during the film, Fergie is seen sitting in front of a pile of money, believed to be $40,000 the undercover reporter handed over to her. Ferguson insists the money has been given back to the newspaper.

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