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Sarah Ferguson, whose sexual indiscretions and brash behavior helped undermine respect for the British royal family, has begged for forgiveness, a London tabloid reported Monday.

The Sun quoted an unidentified family friend as saying the Duchess of York, the former wife of Prince Andrew, sent letters to Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Princess Anne.

"(The letters) are all basically asking for forgiveness," the friend was quoted as telling The Sun. "She acknowledges that she has behaved badly in the past. She makes it very clear she wants to put the past behind her. She says it is time to forgive and forget."

However, a spokesman for the duchess in New York called the story a fabrication and said she sent only a single letter of condolence to Charles and his sons after Princess Diana's death Aug 31.

The duchess was purged from the world of British royalty after photos turned up in the tabloid press showing her topless, having her toes nibbled by her financial adviser. The duchess also ran into debt before announcing earlier this year that she had cleared a $6.9 million bank overdraft.

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