‘Mud does stick!’ Prince Andrew faces ‘no way back’ to royal duties claims expert

Prince Andrew: Robert Jobson says ‘mud does stick’

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A royal expert has said that it would be “very difficult” for the Duke of York to resume his position as a public figure after it was announced that the sexual assault allegations made against him will go to a civil trial next autumn. Prince Andrew’s legal team continue to argue that the “baseless lawsuit” should be dismissed, whilst Robert Jobson told GB News that the prospect of paying damages would be “deeply damaging” to the Royal Family. The 61-year-old Duke had consistently denied all accusations made against him. 

Royal biographer and commentator Mr Jobson said: “It makes it very difficult to come back from this, he’s 61 now and I can’t see there being a public role for him even after the events of this, because the mud does stick.

“Even if he does come out, there’s still a case to answer, there’s still money to pay this girl that’s already been paid out before, this woman who was a girl at the time – she’s already been paid out once by Epstein before his death.

“So I do think that there’s no real way back from this for the Duke of York apart from a personal satisfaction to win that case.

“If he has to pay out damages, it’s deeply damaging to the Royal Family and that would lead to other problems like maybe they would look to bringing in a criminal case against him if indeed the case is lost.”

The latest court hearing on Wednesday set dates for initial disclosures and for Prince Andrew’s motion to dismiss the case against him. 

His accuser, Virginia Giuffre, must respond to the duke’s motion by November 29, whilst his lawyers in turn will respond by December 13. 

Ms Giuffre was one of several women who came forward to expose the alleged sex trafficking ring that was run by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein had been a former friend of Andrew’s and was last seen with the prince in 2010. 

She launched her civil case against the prince earlier this summer under New York’s Child Victims Act. 

She is accusing the duke of sexually assaulting her on three occasions when she was 17 years old. She claims that the abuse occurred once at the London home of Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and twice at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and the US Virgin Islands. 

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Ms Guiffre has claimed that the prince acted in full awareness of her age and that she was a “victim of sex trafficking”.

Now aged 38, she is seeking damages for the “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm” caused by his behaviour. 

Prince Andrew has categorically denied all allegations. 

Last week, Andrew’s lawyers argued the case should be dismissed because Ms Giuffre had failed to give sufficient details regarding her claims against him. 

In court documents, his legal team said his “sullied reputation” was “only the latest collateral damage of the Epstein scandal” and that Ms Giuffre had launched her civil lawsuit “to achieve another payday at his expense”.

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Lawyers for both Ms Giuffre and the prince told the court on Wednesday that they had between eight to 12 witness depositions each. 

Speaking of the allegations against him in 2019, the Duke of York told BBC Newsnight that they “never happened”. 

He conducted an in-depth interview with journalist Emily Maitlis, where he said: “It didn’t happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.” 

The interview was met with public backlash and led to the prince stepping down from his role as a senior working royal. 

In a subsequent statement, he said: “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.

“His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.

“I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”

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