Prince Andrew faces ‘mounting pressure’ to stand trial says expert
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The Duke of York is being sued in the US by Virginia Giuffre who claimed she was forced to have sex with him on three occasions in 2001 when was only 17. Prince Andrew vehemently denies all allegations made against him.
Andrew has fled to see the Queen at Balmoral where she is staying during her summer holiday break.
Royal sources said Andrew was not due to arrive at the Scottish castle “for some days” before he was summoned by the monarch.
One royal source said: “He was summoned up to Balmoral, there’s no doubt about it.
“The Duke is locked in talks, both with the Queen and his advisers which includes his ex-wife [Sarah Ferguson] who it’s fair to say is his closest confidant.
“It’s no surprise to anyone Fergie has ended up being very publicly back on the scene mere weeks after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.
“Everyone knows the clock is ticking and all the whole further embarrassment is being caused but after this latest turn he is fighting to save the last crumb of his reputation.”
Now the Daily Mirror’s royal editor, Russell Myers, has said the Duke of York has been ordered not to release a statement after crisis talks with the Queen.
Mr Myers tweeted: “Prince Andrew is ordered not to release a statement protesting his innocence after being locked in crisis talks with the Queen and advisers – until his legal team have ‘fully examined exactly what they are dealing with’ following US lawsuit action.”
The Queen is believed to be supportive of her son but was furious after his disastrous interview on Newsnight back in 2019 about his relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew has previously issued a statement saying he “continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein”.
He later confirmed he is “willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations if required”.
In an interview with Channel 4 News, Ms Giuffre’s attorney, David Boise, said the Duke’s lawyers “have totally stonewalled”.
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He said: “He can ignore me. And he can ignore Virginia… but he can’t ignore the judicial process.”
Mr Boise added how evidence including photographs of Andrew with Ms Giuffre at Ms Maxwell’s house that “doesn’t go directly and conclusively to the fundamental question as to whether there was sexual abuse”.
But he said: “It does I think significantly go to his credibility.
“And… this ultimately comes down to a question of credibility.”
Andrew is alleged to have “intentionally committed battery by sexually assaulting” Ms Giuffre when she was a minor.
It added that “on multiple occasions, Andrew intentionally touched the Plaintiff in an offensive and sexual manner without her consent”.
The Duke of York was forced to step back from royal life in 2019 following the disastrous interview with the BBC over his relationship with Epstein.
Following the death of Prince Philip in April, Andrew reportedly asked the Queen to be allowed to temporarily return as a senior royal.
However, this latest accusation is likely to jeopardise his return to the frontline of the Firm.
Nigel Cawthorne, the Prince’s biographer, said: “Giuffre’s lawsuit will preclude a return to public duties.
“It is very difficult to see how Prince Andrew can return to the frontline of the monarchy while a suit is pending, or with a verdict against him passed in absentia.”
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