GMB: Royal expert explains Prince Andrew's court hearing
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Prince Andrew continues to be at the centre of controversy as his lawyers attempt to dismiss the civil sexual assault case brought against him by Virginina Roberts Giuffre. Ms Giuffre claims she is a victim of Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender who died in prison in 2019 while waiting to stand trial for sex trafficking. Andrew has come under fire for his friendship with Epstein and for staying in his Manhattan mansion, even after he was released from prison the first time. Ms Giuffre alleges she was forced by Epstein into having sex with the royal three times.
Andrew vehemently denies the accusations.
As part of the litigation, Ms Giuffre’s lawyers have requested documents including proof of Andrew’s now-famous claim that at the time of the first alleged sexual assault, he could not sweat.
Ms Giuffre previously claimed that the prince was “sweating profusely all over me” at a London nightclub on the night of the first alleged sexual assault.
During the famous BBC Newsnight interview, Andrew said: “There’s a slight problem with the sweating, because I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat or I didn’t sweat at the time and that was…was it…yes, I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War when I was shot at and I simply…it was almost impossible for me to sweat.
“And it’s only because I have done a number of things in the recent past that I am starting to be able to do that again.
“So I’m afraid to say that there’s a medical condition that says that I didn’t do it so therefore…”
After the interview, an expert questioned this claim by Andrew.
Professor John Hawk, a dermatology expert at London’s King’s College and St Thomas’ Hospital, told the Daily Mail that an overdose of adrenaline is more likely to increase sweating than it is to stop it.
When approached by Express.co.uk this week, Professor Hawk said his view on the medical condition had not changed.
He said: “I of course am only speaking from a medical point of view, without specific reference to any person, just to the circumstances mentioned in the case in question.
“Given all that, my thoughts are essentially the same. In addition, I mentioned or implied that a person with lack of or reduced sweating would normally see a specialist about it unless inconsequential, and could therefore ask for the specialist to give him a confirmatory note to quell any uncertainty about the matter.
“I don’t however think that any loss of sweating would indeed have occurred except in exceptional circumstances.
“Also, if a reduction in sweating did somehow occur years ago in the circumstances mentioned, it would almost certainly have returned to normal in minutes to hours to days to at most weeks, but I repeat such an event would have been unlikely.
“Also if it did occur, it almost certainly would not have been noticed at the time because of the surrounding difficult circumstances.
“But essentially a medical report from a specialist with particular expertise in sweating would solve the matter, even now if the condition persists, or even if it does not persist, since the history given would normally be sufficient for a specialist.”
When speaking to the Daily Mail in 2019, Professor Hawk said: “It is certainly possible to have problems with sweating but an overdose of adrenaline would be more likely to make a person sweat more, not less.
“Most cases are inherited, which does not seem to be the case here.
“Other causes include heat stroke – which seems unlikely in the Falklands, severe dehydration, and certain medications including morphine could also cause it, but these are not likely.
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“Maybe there was a supplementary event that happened which he cannot remember. Trauma is not a known cause of this condition.”
Other experts spoke to the Daily Mail at the time, saying that anhidrosis – a condition that means people struggle sweating – is extremely rare but does exist.
Leading dermatologist Bav Shergill, a member of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: “Not much is known about it. Normally it’s a genetic condition.”
He said a 2014 study in Singapore found half of anhidrosis sufferers had been in the military.
But he added: “It is really uncommon and no one has much of an idea about what causes it. I’ve been practising dermatology for 20 years and I’ve never met anyone with it.”
Reports today suggest that a decision from the judge on whether the case against the Duke of York will be dismissed will come soon.
At a virtual hearing in Manhattan on Tuesday, Judge Kaplan said he appreciated the “arguments and the passion” over a 2009 agreement between Ms Giuffre and the late Epstein.
He said he would give a decision on the case “pretty soon” but declined to say exactly when.
As part of a deal in 2009, Epstein paid Ms Giuffre $500,000 (£369,000) to end a claim for damages and she agreed not to bring any future cases against other “potential defendants”.
Andrews lawyers have claimed that this means Ms Giuffre cannot sue him, although Ms Giufrre’s lawyers disagree with this.
The 2009 deal shows both Epstein and Ms Giuffre agreed that neither of them would disclose the deal to other parties, unless ordered to do so by a court.
Secondly, both of them accepted that the agreement could not be used in any other court case that was not directly related to enforcing its terms.
Judge Kaplan said that the wording could mean that both Epstein and Ms Giuffre had to jointly agree on whether or not the settlement could be used to release other potential defendants from facing court.
He said: “If someone got sued and Jeffrey Epstein said this person was within the release, and it was okay with Ms Giuffre, then [the deal] could be made available and Epstein could enforce it, but not otherwise.”
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