Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged survivor of the sex trafficking ring operated by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, on Monday filed a civil lawsuit under New York’s Child Victims Act, accusing Prince Andrew of forcing her to have sex with him when she was under 18 three times: in London, New York, and on the late tycoon’s private island.
Prince Charles reportedly fears his younger brother – Prince Andrew- will never be able to return to public life in the wake of the sexual abuse claims that have been hounding him.
“The prince loves his brother and has the ability to have sympathy for the slings and arrows that his brother endures, whatever the reasons may be. However, this will be unwelcome reputational damage to the institution,” a source was cited as saying in The Times.
The Duke of York, who had a civil lawsuit filed against him on Monday by alleged Jeffery Epstein sex trafficking victim Virginia Guiffre (née Roberts), has vehemently denied any wrongdoing from the moment the accusation were launched. However, the now permanently nonactive member of the royal family was forced to step away from royal duties because of the reputational damage done by his links to convicted pedophile Epstein.
Charles, Prince of Wales, the heir apparent to the British throne as the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II, believes that Prince Andrew might become consigned to the wilderness whatever the outcome of the current lawsuit, claims the report.
“He has long ago concluded that it is probably an unsolvable problem,” added the source cited by the outlet.
Furthermore, Prince Charles and his eldest son, Prince William, are among the senior royals that are purportedly concerned over the way the current legal woes plaguing the Duke of York are being handled. The two members of the royal family had been instrumental in forcing the embattled Prince Andrew to quit royal duties in 2019 in the wake of the “car crash” BBC Newsnight interview he gave in an attempt to clear his name.
Also not a good look: everything in the 2019 BBC interview. https://t.co/QNNuAmaiPk
— Susan Pedler 🇨🇦 (@SusanPedler) August 9, 2021
While criminal defence solicitor Gary Bloxsome, of City firm Blackfords, has been reportedly recruited to hammer out a response to Virginia Guiffre’s allegations, frustration is said to be growing with the policy of continued silence in the wake of the civil proceedings that Virginia Giuffre’s attorney in the US, David Boies, launched.
“We are beginning to question the tactics of Blackfords. Not to put out a statement reiterating or expanding on his denial may work in a restricted, legal sense, but in the court of public opinion his reputation is being shredded,” a source close to Prince Andrew’s family told the publication.
‘Demands for Justice’
In her lawsuit, Giuffre, now 38 and residing in Australia with her husband and three children, claims she had been “trafficked out” by the late financier to have sex with the British royal three three times: in London, New York, and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein.
The accuser, who was 17 at the time, said in a statement to People:
“Today my attorney filed suit against Prince Andrew for sexual abuse under the Child Victims Act. I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one’s life by speaking out and demanding justice.”
Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies had underscored to the outlet earlier that legal action was taken after Prince Andrew had failed to respond to offers to settle the claims out of court. Now, facing a civil action, the royal could be questioned under oath and possibly made to turn over texts, emails, and private letters pertinent to the case.
“The family find themselves in an extraordinarily difficult and sensitive situation given the nature of the allegations. They are limited in what they can say publicly and now that the Duke of York is no longer a working royal they are actually rather limited in what control they can exert over the situation privately,” a royal insider was cited as saying by the outlet.
While David Boies was cited as anticipating the case could be heard in New York as early as the “middle of next year”, there have been concerns within the royal fold that the scandal could overshadow the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, reported the outlet.
The Queen, 95, is due to celebrate her historic Platinum Jubilee with a series of major public celebrations in June.
Boies has been reiterating in statements to the UK media that the ninth in line to the throne can no longer “ignore” both his accuser, Virginia Guiffre, and the FBI, which is investigating the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince Andrew had previously vowed to cooperate with that probe.
David Boies also hinted that new evidence and new witness statements will form part of the case when it comes to court for trial, possibly referring to Johanna Sjoberg, the only other woman who has publicly accused the royal of sexual misconduct. She claims the Prince groped her breast when she was 21 years old in an incident at Epstein’s New York home.
In the wake of the lawsuit filed against him by Virginia Guiffre, Prince Andrew has 21 days to respond. Failing that, say legal experts cited by the outlet, his accuser could ask the court to find in her favour without a trial, possibly seeking damages.
Lawyers could also demand from the prince access to his previous communications with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been charged with aiding her the billionaire in his sexual abuse of minor girls.
She is due to go on trial later this year.
Experts also believe that one option Prince Andrew’s legal team has under the circumstances is to ask the court to dismiss the case as groundless or try to challenge it on other legal grounds.