Sarah Ferguson was caught on tape accepting cash from an undercover journalist in exchange for access to her ex husband, Prince Andrew, Britain's special representative for international trade and investment.
"Five hundred thousand pounds [approx $750,000] when you can, to me... [to] open doors," Ferguson, 50, says on videotape during a meeting at a swanky London apartment, according to the British tabloid News of the World, which also printed a transcript of the conversation, Us Weekly reports.
Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth and fourth in line to the throne "categorically" denied any knowledge of the meeting that took place between the Duchess of York and the News of the World, Buckingham Palace said in a statement.
The Duchess, known as "Fergie," who is no stranger to controversy, said she deeply regretted the sting and admitted her financial situation was "under stress," British media reported.
"I very deeply regret the situation and the embarrassment caused," Ferguson said in a statement.
"It is true that my financial situation is under stress however, that is no excuse for a serious lapse in judgment and I am very sorry that this has happened," she added, Reuters says.