Prince Andrew ‘could be asked to drop title’ if he loses sex abuse lawsuit

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·3-min read
Prince Andrew ‘could be asked to drop title’ if he loses sex abuse lawsuit
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  • Prince Andrew, Duke of York
    Prince Andrew, Duke of York
    Second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born 1960)
  • Jeffrey Epstein
    American financier
  • Ghislaine Maxwell
    Ghislaine Maxwell
    Socialite
  • Virginia Giuffre
    Alleged victim of the underage sex trafficking ring operated by Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew could be stripped of his Duke of York title if he loses a sex abuse lawsuit brought by a victim of Jeffrey Epstein.

The duke is being sued by Virginia Giuffre for allegedly sexually assaulting her three times when she was a teenager. He strongly denies the allegations.

Last week Andrew’s close friend Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend, was convicted of sex trafficking and recruiting young girls for the disgraced financier. She faces decades behind bars.

According to the Sunday Times, royal courtiers have discussed what to do about Andrew if he loses the case.

Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein (US Department of Justice/PA) (PA Media)
Ghislaine Maxwell with Jeffrey Epstein (US Department of Justice/PA) (PA Media)

One measure is to ask him to stop using his title, while another would be to force him give up his remaining links to charities.

He would also be asked to scale back his housing and would no longer be able to travel internationally due to the risk of extradition.

A palace insider said: “If he loses the case, the question is: what do you do with him?

“You can’t make him resign like you would a normal person but he would be asked to put his dukedom into abeyance.

“Andrew is still patron of a heck of a lot of charities and they would have to go as well. He couldn’t go abroad because of the risk of extradition so there would have to be a form of internal exile. He would need to scale back on his housing.”

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “This is speculation and the comments are without foundation. We would not comment on an ongoing legal matter.”

On Saturday, Prince Andrew suffered another legal blow after a US judge denied a motion from his lawyers to halt proceedings in the lawsuit while an issue of where his accuser lives is dealt with.

Earlier this week Andrew’s lawyers had called for the case against the royal in the US to be stopped because Ms Giuffre is “actually domiciled in Australia”.

Judge Lewis Kaplan, in a ruling in New York dated December 31, denied Andrew’s lawyers’ request, stating that Ms Giuffre’s legal team has previously received “at least one comprehensive request for documents relating to her domicile, to which responses are due, and have been promised, by January 14”.

The judge added that his ruling was being made “without determining the merit, or lack of merit” of an assertion by Ms Giuffre’s team that Andrew’s lawyers’ motion was “a transparent attempt to delay discovery into his own documents and testimony”.

Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew, and was pictured with the royal and his friend Ghislaine Maxwell during the period the alleged intercourse took place.

Ms Giuffre has alleged in the past she had sex with Andrew in London and New York when she was aged 17, a minor under US law, and again aged 18 on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein where an orgy took place.

Andrew has denied all the allegations.

Oral arguments via a video teleconference on the prince’s request to dismiss the case are scheduled for Monday in the US, the Associated Press reported.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted in the US on Wednesday of helping to entice vulnerable teenagers to the properties of Epstein, her former boyfriend, for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

She was labelled “dangerous” by the prosecution and faces the rest of her life in jail.

Her friendship with Andrew has seen renewed scrutiny of Ms Giuffre’s civil claim for damages against the duke.

Andrew was photographed, for the first time since Maxwell’s conviction, driving himself in a Range Rover towards Windsor Castle at lunchtime on Friday.

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