Sarah Ferguson has vowed to trust her instincts in future after revealing she knew deep down the bogus businessman at the centre of her latest royal scandal was an undercover reporter.
In a candid TV chat with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey, the Duchess of York has spoken out about her shame following a British tabloid set-up, in which she was secretly filmed agreeing a cash deal for access to her ex-husband Prince Andrew.
She admits she should have known better because she had her doubts about the Asian businessman offering her the cash upon their first meeting.
Ferguson was so convinced she was meeting a News of the World reporter she insisted he sign a confidentiality agreement before she would discuss anything with him - and then had her aides check his identity out.
She told Oprah, "I sat there and thought, 'He's a journalist; he's a News of the World journalist, I know he is, I'm going to leave.'
"Just before I get up, I said, 'I need you to sign a confidentiality agreement... I'm sorry to be so rude, but I think, in this day and age, we have to...' so everybody shakes (hands) and says, 'Yes, we agree,' and I'm thinking, 'Well, there's no way I'll see him again, so I'll just leave.'"
But when a background check on the bogus businessman suggested he was for real, Ferguson agreed on a second meeting in London.
And now she's mad for not trusting her gut: "I instinctively knew... I actually told him, 'You are a News of the World journalist...' I could tell."
The undercover reporter refused to sign the confidentiality agreement prior to the second meeting, insisting he had to run it by his lawyers the following morning - but Fergie still went ahead with the dinner meeting that led to the scandal.