Will and Kate's Scandalous Uncles Loom Large Over Wedding Prep

ByABC News
March 7, 2011, 2:10 PM

March 7, 2011— -- Storm clouds have gathered over the House of Windsor seven weeks before Will and Kate's big day. The latest scandal to rock the royals involves Prince Andrew and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. Some British lawmakers are calling for William's uncle to be booted from his job as trade ambassador because of his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. The prince and the American billionaire have been friends for years, long before Epstein was jailed in 2008 for hiring underage prostitutes.

Ex-wife Fergie admitted today to taking money from the billionaire to help pay off her huge personal debts, a move she now calls "a gigantic error in judgment." She told the London Evening Standard that Epstein had helped her through her financial woes but that she had no clue about his jail record.

"I am just so contrite I cannot say," she told the paper. "Whenever I can, I will repay the money and will have nothing to do with Jeffrey Epstein ever again." She called her former husband a "first-rate man ... who does not know how to tell an untruth or behave dishonorably."

Buckingham Palace and Prime Minister David Cameron are both backing the prince. Andrew is still scheduled to head a trade trip to Saudi Arabia in the next month. Click here to watch Nick Watt's report for "Good Morning America" on Prince Andrew's "bad connections."

It wasn't so long ago that the "black sheep" uncle everyone was buzzing about was on the bride's side. Gary Goldsmith, Kate's maternal uncle and her mother's only brother, is on the guest list for April 29. He's better-known in the British tabs as the owner of La Maison de Bang Bang, his villa in Ibiza, Spain. In 2009, Kate's uncle was caught on tape in a tabloid sting stringing out lines of cocaine and offering to arrange for prostitutes. A friend of Goldsmith's says the 45-year-old has cleaned up his act, telling the Daily Mail that "Gary has turned his life around. He's realized that money and a lavish lifestyle in the sun aren't necessarily the answer to happiness."