Ghislaine Maxwell brands infamous photo ‘fake’ in prison interview
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Prince Andrew’s reputation is unlikely to fully recover even if he overturns the multi-million-pound settlement he struck with Virginia Giuffre last year, an expert has claimed. PR, media and crisis management expert Anthony Burr claimed the Duke of York’s association with both Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein has dented his public image and it’s unlikely even clearing his name of the allegations made by Ms Giuffre could entirely restore Andrew’s reputation. Mr Burr, founder of BurrMedia, told Express.co.uk: “I think his reputation has been tarnished, no question. Could it recover? Not fully, no way.
“I think his dealings with Jeffrey Epstein and also with Ghislaine Maxwell were so deep and for such a long period of time that he will never really recover from that.
“And he was so misguided because associations with them would mean that his reputation on that front will always be tarnished, no matter what happens in the legal battle.
“It’s a huge error of judgement, he should have really never have associating with those people at that time.”
The Royal Family, Mr Burr went on to claim, it’s unlikely to be happy if Andrew does put the spotlight once again on his civil lawsuit and the allegations made against him by Ms Giuffre, who says to have been one of the victims of convicted sex offender Epstein.
Mr Burr claimed: “I think the problem here is that they wanted to draw a line under the whole thing last year and they wanted to keep it that way and, although maybe some people may support Andrew’s bid, I think they will be advised not to publicly support it but to say if he wants to go down that channel by his own volition than that is obviously his legal right and he should do so, but they won’t want to see it.”
Over the weekend, a source claimed Prince Andrew “wants to see what legal routes might be available to him” to overturn the settlement he struck with Ms Giuffre.
They told the Mail on Sunday: “This isn’t about the money. He wants a route back to some sort of normality after a deeply trying period.
“I can tell you with confidence that Prince Andrew’s team is now considering legal options.”
Andrew is believed to have started considering overturning the agreement after Ms Giuffre dropped her defamation lawsuit against high-profile US lawyer Alan Dershowitz, whom she had accused of sexually abusing her when she was a teenager.
The lawyer had counter-sued Ms Giuffre while also vehemently denying any allegations against him.
Upon dropping the case, Ms Giuffre said she “may have made a mistake” in accusing Mr Dershowitz – who during his career has represented among other clients Donald Trump, OJ Simpson and Epstein.
In order to overturn the deal with Ms Giuffre, the Duke of York would have to file a “motion to vacate the stipulation of settlement”, providing reasons such as fraud, duress, mistake or accident.
Ms Giuffre launched a civil lawsuit in New York against Prince Andrew in the summer of 2021, accusing him of sexual assault while she was 17 and being trafficked by Epstein.
Andrew has vehemently and repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and, in his interview with BBC Newsnight in 2019, he had already claimed to have no recollection of ever meeting Ms Giuffre.
After the Duke’s lawyer tried and failed to have the case dismissed by US judge Lewis A. Kaplan, Prince Andrew returned his royal and military patronages to his mother the Queen.
A statement issued at the time also confirmed the Duke would continue not to carry out public duties, which he had stopped undertaking in mid-November.
Despite announcing he wanted to undergo a trial by jury as a private citizen, the Duke and Ms Giuffre struck an out-of-court settlement a few weeks later – which did not represent an admission of liability on behalf of the royal.
The settlement included an undisclosed payment and a statement, in which the Duke said he “regrets his association with Epstein and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others”.
In the past, Andrew spoke about his association with both Epstein, who was found dead in his prison cell in New York in August 2019, and Maxwell, who is serving 20 years in a Florida prison for procuring teenage girls for the disgraced financial tycoon to abuse from 1994 to 2004, a charge she continues to deny.
Speaking about Epstein in his now-notorious interview with BBC Newsnight in November 2019, the Duke of York said: “I met through his girlfriend back in 1999 who… and I’d known her since she was at university in the UK and it would be, to some extent, a stretch to say that as it were we were close friends.
“I mean we were friends because of other people and I had a lot of opportunity to go to the United States but I didn’t have much time with him.
“I suppose I saw him once or twice a year, perhaps maybe maximum of three times a year and quite often if I was in the United States and doing things and if he wasn’t there, he would say ‘well, why don’t you come and use my houses?’ so I said ‘that’s very kind, thank you very much indeed’.
“But it would be a considerable stretch to say that he was a very, very close friend.”
In January last year, the Duke also denied being a close friend of Maxwell in a legal response to Ms Giuffre.
Maxwell has spoken a number of times about Andrew from her prison cell.
In October, she said during an interview she considers the Duke of York a “dear friend” and she “cares about him”, but also added she accepted “this friendship could not survive my conviction”.
In a recent interview with TalkTV, Maxwell spoke about the photograph dating back to 2001 in which Prince Andrew appears to be holding Ms Giuffre by the waste while Maxwell smiles a few steps away.
She claimed: “It’s a fake … there’s never been an original and further there is no photograph. I’ve only ever seen a photocopy of it.”
Following reports the Duke may be trying to overturn the settlement, two US lawyers representing Epstein victims have told him it’s unlikely this bid would be successful.
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