Prince Andrew’s options laid bare after judge ruled he will face Virginia Giuffre in court

Prince Andrew: Expert discusses ‘clash’ with allegations

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Yesterday, the Duke of York’s military titles and royal patronages were returned to the Queen. He will no longer use the His Royal Highness title and will defend himself in court as a “private citizen”. On Wednesday, US Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled Andrew would face a civil sexual assault trial in the US in the autumn over Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s claims.

Andrew is being sued by Ms Giuffre, who alleges that the Queen’s son sexually assaulted her on three seperate occasions, when she was 17 and a minor in some US states.

Ms Giuffre claims that she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew 20 years ago.

Andrew has denied the claims vehemently on a number of occasions.

The prince attempted to have the case thrown out using wording in a 2009 settlement between Ms Giuffre and Epstein, but Judge Kaplan dismissed the motion by Andrew’s lawyers.

Read More: Meghan urged to speak to police about Andrew ‘if she knows anything’

Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Zoe Forsey and features Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.

In yesterday’s episode, the royal experts detailed the three options Andrew now has since Judge Kaplan’s ruling.

Either, Andrew will appeal this decision, work out an out of court settlement with Ms Giuffre or face trial.

Ms Forsey said: “So the three options that potentially could happen will be either, the appeal is successful and it disappears, there’s a settlement, or we go to a full trial. Is that right?”

Mr Myers then highlighted that ‒ if the case does in fact go to trial ‒ there are still further options: to not engage with the trial and face the likely scenario it rules against him, or to actively defend himself.

Then, if he is ordered to pay damages, Mr Myers questioned whether he will legally have to, given that he is not domiciled in the US.

Mr Myers responded to Ms Forsey’s question: “Yeah, it even gets further complicated ‒ you’re right with those three options ‒ but I think the other options available to Andrew are that he can face up to it [by] of course going to court.

“He can decide to do nothing, and then the most likely scenario is the court would find against him, they would find in Virginia Giuffre’s favour.

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“What does that mean? They could award a multi-million dollar settlement against him because it’s in the civil courts, it’s not a criminal trial remember.

“But is he duty bound to pay that money? Some people would say no, but then I don’t think he is duty bound by the law because he’s not domiciled in the US.

“What is the reputational damage to him if he has that hanging over him? Again, he may now want to settle as they’ve tried to hold this wall of silence for so long and it hasn’t worked.

“The advice that he’s been given over this whole pordry period will be questioned in the weeks, months and years to come because it couldn’t have gone much worse for him at the moment.”

An autumn trial could see Ms Giuffre give a detailed account of the accusation and divulge aspects of Andrew’s personal life in open court.

Meanwhile an out-of-court settlement may be unlikely given Ms Guiffre’s lawyer David Bois said his client would be unlikely to accept a “purely financial settlement”.

However, Mr Myers cited that “97 to 99 percent” of litigation cases in the US are settled before reaching a trial. 

Mr Myers also claimed that, though he believes the Duke of York’s legal team are preparing a last ditch appeal to Judge Kaplan’s ruling, Andrew appears to have “run out of road”.

He added: “Prince Andrew has seemingly run out of road and that he now will need to either try and reach a settlement with Virginia Giuffre ‒ for her part she has said she isn’t in this for the money, she is wanting to hold the rich and powerful such as Prince Andrew to account. 

“For his part, he has always denied the allegations in front of him, he said he can’t recall ever meeting her despite the infamous photo of the two of them together with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background, taken in her London house.

“My understanding is that Prince Andrew’s team are still preparing a very, very last ditch attempt to have this thrown out and that centres upon something called a domicile argument.

“Their case is that under US federal law there can not be two sides that are not domiciled in the US. One side either can, or one side can either not, but one of the parties needs to be a US resident.

“Despite being American, Virginia Giuffre has lived in Australia since 2002, of course Prince Andrew is a British citizen as well.”

However Mr Myers added that during the case’s preliminary hearing Judge Kaplan was dismissive of Andrew’s lawyers attempts to get the case thrown out on such grounds.

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