The last 48 hours have seen the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, race towards the top of the TellYouGov leaderboard, recording a sizeable volume score of 211.
This comes following an alleged ‘cash for access’ scandal in which the Duchess was secretly filmed offering to ‘open doors’ in return for £500,000. Given that sentiment score is calculated by subtracting negative comments or ‘tygs’ from positive ones, her sentiment score of -140 indicates an overwhelmingly negative feeling towards the Duchess among TellYouGov users, or ‘tyggers’.
On Sunday, the News of the World newspaper ran a story claiming that the Duchess of York had taken money in return for arranging meetings with her ex-husband Prince Andrew. An undercover reporter for the paper secretly filmed Ferguson allegedly selling access to her ex-husband, who has been the UK’s Special Representative for International Trade and Investment since 2001. She later apologised for her actions, admitting that she was experiencing financial difficulties and insisting that the Prince knew nothing about the money that was changing hands.
Many tyggers are expressing disappointment and anger towards the Duchess for her ‘foolish’ actions, saying that she has ‘embarrassed the Royal Family’. One tygger described it as ‘the ultimate betrayal’. Others criticised her for her ‘greed’ in accepting money, with one writing ‘she doesn't care how low she sinks to make a buck’.
Despite some heavy criticism, there are people who have been expressing sympathy for Ferguson, with some seeming more critical of the newspaper for setting her up. One tygger wrote ‘Strangely I feel sorry for her, she has never done anyone any harm and she does lots for charities. I cannot believe the News of the World can get away with this’, and another commented: ‘she was very silly but I don't approve of entrapment’.
It seems that there are also some tyggers who feel unable to judge the Duchess as they think they would act the same in a similar situation, with one writing ‘If I knew someone in power and was offered £500,000 for an introduction, I'd jump at it like most people’. Another simply wrote ‘at the end of the day, you’re not going to turn your nose up at £500k.’