Amy Robach is an ABC News journalist and anchor who was caught on a live mic saying that the network quashed a story she had worked on about Jeffrey Epstein. Robach and ABC News says she was talking about reporting that did not meet the network’s standards, but she was never told to stop reporting on Epstein. The audio was leaked by the controversial right-wing group Project Veritas.
The 46-year-old Robach is the co-anchor of “20/20” and the breaking news/fill-in anchor for “Good Morning America.” She has worked for ABC News since 2012, after previously working for MSNBC and NBC News. ABC News said in a statement about the leaked video, “At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story. Ever since we’ve had a team on this investigation and substantial resources dedicated to it. That work has led to a two-hour documentary and six-part podcast that will air in the new year.”
Robach was talking in the video about an interview she conducted in 2015 with Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers. “The interview itself, while I was disappointed it didn’t air, didn’t meet our standards. In the years since, no one ever told me or the team to stop reporting on Jeffrey Epstein, and we have continued to aggressively pursue this important story,” Robach said in a statement.
Epstein was found dead at the Metropolitan Correctional Center on August 10, 2019. The convicted pedophile and disgraced multi-millionaire financier was awaiting trial on federal sex trafficking charges. His death was ruled a suicide, but it sparked conspiracy theories that he was actually murdered. Those theories were recently boosted by statements made by famed pathologist Michael Baden, who conducted a private autopsy for Epstein’s family. Baden said there is evidence that points toward a homicide, not suicide. In the leaked audio, Robach also speculates that Epstein was possibly murdered and said those connected to him could be in danger.
Project Veritas, the organization led by right-wing provocateur James O’Keefe, posted the Robach audio on November 5, 2019, and said it was obtained from an ABC insider still working for the company. It is not clear when the video was recorded. O’Keefe has recently been pushing leaked CNN audio claiming it shows a bias against conservatives within the network. The often discredited Project Veritas has a history of deceptive editing and publishing misleading information in an effort to make Democrats and mainstream media look bad. O’Keefe was convicted of entering a federal building under false pretense during a 2010 sting operation on a Democratic senator.
Here’s what you need to know about Amy Robach:
1. Amy Robach Says She Was ‘Caught in a Moment of Private Frustration’
In the leaked video, Amy Robach is seen sitting in an ABC News studio. She says, “I’ve had the story for three years. I’ve had this interview,” referencing an interview with Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre. “We would not put it on the air. … I was tod, who’s Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story. Then the palace (British royal family) found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways,” Robach says. “We were so afraid we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate and Will that we, that also quashed the story.”
Robach added, “And then Alan Dershowitz was also implicated in, cause of the planes, she told me everything. She had pictures, she had everything. She was in hiding for 12 years. We convinced her to come out. We convinced her to talk to us. It was unbelievable what we had, Clinton, we had everything. I tried for three years to get on to no avail. And now it’s all coming out and it’s like these new revelations and I freaking had all of it. I’m so pissed right now.”
Robach continues, “Everyday I get more and more pissed cause I’m just like, ‘Oh my God, we, it was what, what we had was unreal.’ Other women backing it up. Hey. Yep. Brad Edwards, the attorney (for Roberts Giuffre), three years ago saying, ‘there will come a day when we realize Jeffrey Epstein was the most prolific pedophile this country has ever known.’ I had it all three years ago.”
In a statement about the video, Robach said, “As a journalist, as the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration. I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn’t air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards about her allegations.”
She added, “My comments about Prince Andrew and her allegation that she had seen Bill Clinton on Epstein’s private island were in reference to what Virginia Roberts said in that interview in 2015. I was referencing her allegations — not what ABC News had verified through our reporting.”
Much of what is in the Robach video was previously reported after Epstein’s death. Roberts Giuffre talked to NPR News’ David Folkenflik in August 2019 about ABC’s decision to not air the interview with her. She told Folkenflik that she was interviewed for about an hour in New York City by Robach and her news partner, Jim Hill.
“At the time, in 2015, Epstein was walking around a free man, comparing his criminal behavior to stealing a bagel. I really wanted a spotlight shone on him and the others who acted with him and enabled his vile and shameless conduct against young girls and young women,” she told NPR. “I viewed the ABC interview as a potential game-changer. Appearing on ABC with its wide viewership would have been the first time for me to speak out against the government for basically looking the other way and to describe the anger and betrayal victims felt.”
An ABC News insider told Folkenflik that Dershowitz, who was part of the legal team that had represented Epstein, called ABC and influenced the decision. Dershowitz told NPR he talked to two producers and a lawyer after learning the interview could be aired. “I did not want to see [Giuffre’s] credibility enhanced by ABC,” he told NPR.
2. Robach, Who Grew Up in Michigan, Missouri & Georgia, Was a Runner-Up in the ‘Miss Georgia’ Pageant in 1995 & Graduated From the University of Georgia With a Broadcast Journalism Degree
Amy Robach was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, and moved with her family to East Lansing, Michigan, when she was a child. Her family relocated again to Georgia, where she graduated from Brookwood High School in Snellville in 1991, according to a profile in the Gwinnett Citizen.
Robach was the fourth runner-up in the Miss Georgia pageant in 1995 and was the winner of the Miss Gwinnett County pageant that same year.
Robach graduated from the University of Georgia in 1995 with a degree in broadcast journalism. She received a distinguished alumni award from the school in 2015 and spoke to students at the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
“It’s what I give to the job each day that makes me feel good about what I do for a living,” Robach told the students. “Knowing that when I go into work, I can make a difference, is a tremendous feeling. And with that comes a lot of responsibility.” She said she remembers a professor telling her class, “When you walk into your first newsroom, you should decide ahead of time how much of your soul you are willing to sell.”
Robach said, “And it’s absolutely true, there are many compromises to be made on many different levels. I’ve been in many an argument with a news director about how to cover a story. What stories to cover, what words I choose to describe certain situations. And I have always stuck to my guns. And there have been very tough moments. But at the end of the day I want to look in the mirror and know that I did right by the people whose story I told. And I feel very strongly that’s something you have to decide before you walk into your first newsroom and say, ‘I’m going to follow my heart and trust my gut.'”
She added, “Because in the end, especially when you are in front of the camera, you are the last line of defense, you are the final filter. And you own what comes out of your mouth and no one else can put those words in your mouth for you. … Be strong and voice your opinion and don’t let someone think that sensational is better, because it’s not.”
3. She Worked in Local TV in South Carolina & D.C. Before Being Hired by NBC News & Then ABC News
Amy Robach began her journalism career as a student broadcaster at UGA. She was hired to work at WCBD-TV in Charleston, South Carolina, after college and then at WTTG-TV in Washington, D.C.
Robach worked for NBC News from 2003 to 2012, including at MSNBC and as the co-anchor of Saturday “Today” and as an NBC News national correspondent. She was also a fill-in weekday “Today” co-anchor and newsreader and a fill-in “NBC Nightly News” anchor.
Robach was hired by ABC News in 2012 and became the news anchor for “Good Morning America” in 2014 and the co-anchor of “20/20” in 2018.
“Since joining ABC News, Robach has traveled nationally and internationally to cover major news events. She reported on the terrorist attacks in Manchester, UK and in Brussels, Belgium, as well as the mass shootings at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX, Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Sandy Hook elementary school in Newton, Connecticut, and targeting police officers in Dallas, TX. Robach contributed to network-wide coverage on Election Night 2016 from Trump headquarters and the Washington Mall in Washington, DC for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration,” her bio on the ABC News website states.
Robach’s bio adds:
She also traveled to Iceland to report on the front lines of climate change with the world’s most elite ice climbers, taking viewers into an ice sinkhole over a hundred feet deep, and reported live from Tanzania on the poaching epidemic and its impact across the globe. In 2014, she traveled to Nigeria to interview Malala Yousafzai, the seventeen-year-old who was campaigning to free hundreds of captive school girls. She also reported live from South Africa just days after the shooting of Oscar Pistorius’ girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Robach anchored ABC News’ Olympic coverage of the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang , South Korea, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
According to ABC News, she has also had exclusive interviews with Tonya Harding, Gretchen Carlson, Hulk Hogan and Monica Lewinsky. Her most recent prominent exclusive interview was with Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden.
4. She Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer in 2013 After Receiving a Mammogram on Live TV
Robach was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2103 after receiving a mammogram on live TV. She took time away from the network to undergo treatment, including a bilateral mastectomy surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and reconstructive surgery.
Robach wrote a bestselling book, “Better: How I Let Go of Control, Held On To Hope, and Found Joy in My Darkest Hour,” about her cancer diagnosis and battle. She has also become an advocate for breast cancer awareness and speaks publicly often about her battle and the need for early detection.
5. Robach Is Married to Actor Andrew Shue & Has 2 Daughters From Her First Marriage, Along With 3 Stepsons
Amy Robach has been married to actor Andrew Shue, best known for “Melrose Plae,” since 2010. She was previously married to Tim McIntosh from 1996 to 2008.
Robach has two daughters, Ava, born in 2002, and Analise, born in 2006, from her marriage to McIntosh, and three stepsons, Nate, born in 1997, Aidan, born in 1999, and Wyatt, born in 2004.
Robach told Babble, “Work and home life balance is a constant struggle. It’s gotten easier as the kids have gotten older.”
Robach said of her family, “We really are the Brady Bunch. Love and structure are the cornerstones, and I’m constantly working to do better at listening to my kids and validating their feelings. I definitely don’t have all the answers. I just try to be loving in the moments of struggle.”