Prince Andrew news – Royal 'WILL face court in US over Virginia Giuffre rape claims' and ‘could LOSE HRH title'

PRINCE Andrew can no longer "hide behind wealth" and will face court over the rape claims against him, it has been claimed.

In a new lawsuit, Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre says she was “forced to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will” and lists offences including “rape in the first degree”.

Now her lawyer David Boies has told BBC Two's Newsnight that Ms Giuffre intends to send a message that the alleged behaviour "is not acceptable and that you cannot hide behind wealth and power and palace walls".

He added that "at this point litigation is the only way to establish once and for all what the truth is – and litigation is the only way to establish once and for all what Prince Andrew's evidence actually is".

Andrew fiercely denies any allegations, says he has no memory of even meeting Roberts, and has said he had no suspicions of Epstein's wrongdoing during their friendship.

Read our Prince Andrew live blog below for the latest updates

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    WHAT ARE THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST PRINCE ANDREW?

    Virginia Roberts — who now uses her married name Giuffre — launched a legal battle against Prince Andrew on August 10, 2021, accusing him of sexually abusing her at Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion.

    She said it was “past the time for him to be held to account” for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

    But Prince Andrew has previously strenuously denied her claim he had sex with her.

    Lawyers for Ms Giuffre filed the civil suit seeking unspecified damages at a federal court in New York, where the court documents claim she was “lent out for sexual purposes” by convicted sex offender Epstein including while she was still a minor under US law.

    Andrew is named as the only defendant in the 15-page suit, brought under New York state’s Child Victims Act, though Epstein and his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell are mentioned frequently throughout.

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    WHAT HAS JOHANNA SJOBERG SAID ABOUT PRINCE ANDREW?

    Johanna Sjoberg alleges Prince Andrew touched her breast in 2001 at the New York home of his pal Jeffrey Epstein, according to court papers.

    In the documents Sjoberg said: “I just remember someone suggesting a photo, and they told us to go get on the couch. And so Andrew and Virginia Giuffre (formerly Roberts) sat on the couch, and they put the puppet, the puppet on her lap.

    “And so then I sat on Andrew’s lap, and I believe on my own volition, and they took the puppet’s hands and put it on Virginia’s breast, and so Andrew put his on mine,” she said, saying it was done in a “joking manner”.

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    MAPPED: EPSTEIN’S WEB OF ABUSE

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    ROYAL FIGHT

    Prince Andrew does not have diplomatic immunity that could protect him from a sex abuse lawsuit filed by Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

    The 61-year-old is facing a new wave of trouble over his links to the disgraced paedo financier – and its believed his status as a Royal will not be able to help him.

    Members of the the immediate royal household are considered immune – but Andrew is not believed to be included in this bracket, especially after he stepped back from his duties.

    Bob Morris, a constitutional law professor at UCL, told The Sun Online in December 2019: “[Sovereign immunity] is a concept devised to protect the position of heads of state, but heads of state only, not the members of their family in their function as head of state. And you can’t have more than one head of the state.

    “So it doesn’t apply to the members of people’s families, there is no logic in doing so.

    “Andrew is in the same position as any other UK citizen.”

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    STONEWALLED

    Since denying the allegations Ms Giuffre’s lawyers claim that they have made multiple attempts to contact the Duke and his legal team but have been ignored.

    According to her lawyer the latest letter sent to Prince Andrew was sent last month, and warned that a lawsuit could be filed.

    In a infamous Newsnight interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis in November 2019, Andrew denied claims that he slept with Ms Giuffre and said he had “no recollection” of ever meeting her.

    He also said he has no memory of the well-known photograph of him with his arm around Ms Giuffre’s waist at Maxwell’s house, and has questioned whether it was his own hand in the image.

    The fallout from the interview saw the royal criticised for showing a lack of empathy towards Epstein’s victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with disgraced financier.

    Andrew quit his royal duties and publicly promised to co-operate with US authorities investigating Epstein’s crimes, though has since faced a war of words between his camp and American authorities over his availability to answer questions.

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    SECOND LAWSUIT CONTINUED

    In her testimony in 2016, she said Andrew and Virginia Giuffre – then Roberts – were sat on a couch with a Spitting Image puppet on her lap.

    She added: “And so then I sat on Andrew’s lap – and I believe on my own volition – and they took the puppet’s hands and put it on Virginia’s breast, and so Andrew put his on mine.”

    A source has now told the Mirror: “JoJo has never been driven by money, but she does want to see justice served,” they said.

    “Her attorneys are closely looking at the act to see what redress may be open to her.”

    The Sun has contacted a representative for the Duke for comment but the Prince has vehemently denied the allegation in the past.

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    SECOND LAWSUIT?

    The crisis surrounding Prince Andrew may get much worse as a second sexual assault claim could be made against him.

    Jeffrey Epstein’s former PA Johanna Sjoberg claims the Duke of York, 61, groped her breast when she was 21 years old.

    Previously she had been unable to sue because of the amount of time that had passed.

    But a likely change in US law could mean Ms Sjoberg may now be able to have her allegations heard in court.

    In June, the New York State Senate passed the Adult Survivors Act, which relates to survivors of sex crimes who were 18 or older when abused.

    If signed into law it will ensure those who stayed silent are able use civil courts to seek justice.

  • [email protected]

    ONE’S HAD ENOUGH

    Prince Andrew could finally stripped of his “His Royal Highness” status as he faces a lawsuit for allegedly raping a 17-year-old trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein.

    The Duke of York had reportedly been hopefully for a return to public life – but these may have been shattered as he could face losing his title after already being stripped of his duties.

    Nigel Cawthorne, author of Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace, told Newsweek: “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.”

    He added: “There are too many legal questions surrounding the prince and it is increasingly doubtful that he can hold on to his HRH status.”

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    VIRGINIA GIUFFRE’S LAWYERS CLAIM THEY HAVE MADE MULTIPLE ATTEMPTS TO CONTACT PRINCE ANDREW

    Buckingham Palace “emphatically” denied the claims, as has Maxwell, stating that the allegations were “false.”

    Since denying the allegations Ms Giuffre’s lawyers claim that they have made multiple attempts to contact the Duke and his legal team but have been ignored. 

    Mr Boies added: “Since 2015, we’ve been trying to have a dialog with Prince Andrew or his lawyers. We have given him every opportunity to provide any explanation or context that he might have. 

    “We’ve tried to reach a resolution without the necessity of litigation. Prince Andrew and his lawyers have been totally non-responsive. If she had simply failed to sue now, it would have validated the stonewalling tactics that Andrew and his advisers have employed.”

    According to her lawyer the latest letter sent to Prince Andrew was sent last month, and warned that a lawsuit could be filed.

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    ANDREW MAY NEVER RETURN TO ‘ROYAL FOLD’

    The Duke of York may never return to the “royal fold” as a working member of the monarchy following Virginia Giuffre’s decision to sue the Queen’s son for alleged sexual assault, a royal expert has said.

    The duke does not have to attend or give evidence in the civil proceedings in New York, but the legal action will be a further blow to his reputation and the standing of the monarchy, according to Joe Little, managing editor of Majesty Magazine.

    He said about the Epstein scandal: “It’s damaging not only for Andrew but for the institution of the monarchy itself because all sorts of allegations have been thrown at the institution since all this came to light – and the perception is, most likely incorrectly, they are not taking it seriously.”

    Mr Little added: “While the legality and situation itself haven’t really moved on at all, in terms of his working royal role that has shifted significantly and it’s hard to see how he can resume life as a working member of the royal family.”

    Andrew stepped back from public duties after the backlash from his Newsnight appearance, dubbed a “car crash”, which had attempted to draw a line under his relationship with Epstein – but instead saw him heavily criticised for showing little empathy with the sex offender’s victims.

    “I can’t think any kind of rehabilitation that will bring him back into the royal fold as a working member of the family,” added Mr Little.

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    HOW IS PRINCE ANDREW LINKED TO JEFFREY EPSTEIN?

    The Duke of York said he first met Jeffrey Epstein, a billionaire financier, in 1999 with the now dead banker once describing him as his “best friend.”

    That was also the year the UK press reported on the pair’s friendship.

    The pair are thought to have flown together on Epstein’s private jet to the US Virgin Islands.

    And in June 2000, Epstein and his Brit “madam” ex, Maxwell were both guests at a party hosted by the Queen at Windsor Castle.

    Prince Andrew also became close with Maxwell – pictured together that same year at a Halloween party hosted by Heidi Klum in New York.

    Just over a month later, in December 2000, the then 40-year-old prince, threw Ms Maxwell a surprise birthday party at Sandringham, with Epstein among the guests.

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    ANDREW SHOCK

    Prince Andrew had dinner with the Queen on Monday night — as a bombshell lawsuit accused him of “rape in the first degree”.

    The Duke of York, 61, left for Balmoral with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson hours before a US summons was sent to his Windsor home.

    A Balmoral source said of Her Majesty, faced with the fallout from Megxit and whose husband Philip died in April: “The Queen could do without this after the year she has had.

    “Summer at Balmoral is a special time when the family come together, take stock, relax and recharge their batteries.

    “But the first thing she is having to deal with is her 61-year-old son turning up on her doorstep with his ex-wife, hours after learning he is being sued for allegedly abusing a 17-year-old girl.

    “It’s not the start to her first trip to Balmoral without the Duke of Edinburgh she would be expecting or deserves.”

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    PRINCE ANDREW’S RAPE LAWSUIT IS LAST THING ‘EXASPERATED’ QUEEN NEEDS

    The monarch and her third child had dinner together last night at her retreat Balmoral Castle just hours after he was served US summons over allegations he abused a 17-year-old girl trafficked by paedo Jeffrey Epstein.

    And while The Queen will be putting on a brave face, she will be feeling the heavy weight of the shocking allegations, Royal commentator and author Angela Levin told The Sun Online.

    Andrew has fiercely denied any allegations, says he has no memory of even meeting alleged victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and he had no suspicions of Epstein's wrongdoing during their friendship.

    Her Majesty will attempt to keep things as normal as possible, the expert believes, but she will be privately exasperated with the Duke of York – who has often been described as her "favourite son".

    Royal Family courtiers may be considered their options with Andrew – with the next steps potentially being to take away his HRH title, or kicking him out of his residence, the historic Royal Lodge at Windsor.

    It will be the first summer without Philip after his death aged 99 in April for The Queen, and Ms Levin says the Duke's absence will leave a "big hole" in the family as they attempt to weather this latest storm.

    She said the ongoing scandal was the "last thing" the Queen needs following her beloved husband's passing, with the Duke often described as her "rock".

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    THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST PRINCE ANDREW

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    WHAT ARE THE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST PRINCE ANDREW?

    Virginia Roberts — who now uses her married name Giuffre — launched a legal battle against Prince Andrew on August 10, 2021, accusing him of sexually abusing her at Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion.

    She said it was “past the time for him to be held to account” for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

    But Prince Andrew has previously strenuously denied her claim he had sex with her.

    Lawyers for Ms Giuffre filed the civil suit seeking unspecified damages at a federal court in New York, where the court documents claim she was “lent out for sexual purposes” by convicted sex offender Epstein including while she was still a minor under US law.

    Andrew is named as the only defendant in the 15-page suit, brought under New York state’s Child Victims Act, though Epstein and his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell are mentioned frequently throughout.

  • [email protected]

    WHAT HAS JOHANNA SJOBERG SAID ABOUT PRINCE ANDREW?

    Johanna Sjoberg alleges Prince Andrew touched her breast in 2001 at the New York home of his pal Jeffrey Epstein, according to court papers.

    In the documents Sjoberg said: “I just remember someone suggesting a photo, and they told us to go get on the couch. And so Andrew and Virginia Giuffre (formerly Roberts) sat on the couch, and they put the puppet, the puppet on her lap.

    “And so then I sat on Andrew’s lap, and I believe on my own volition, and they took the puppet’s hands and put it on Virginia’s breast, and so Andrew put his on mine,” she said, saying it was done in a “joking manner”.

  • [email protected]

    PRINCE ANDREW DASHES TO BALMORAL TO SEE QUEEN HOURS BEFORE BOMBSHELL LAWSUIT ACCUSES HIM OF ‘RAPE IN FIRST DEGREE’

    The Duke of York, 61, left for Balmoral with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson hours before a US summons was sent to his Windsor home.

    His accuser Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer last night warned a criminal probe could be opened into the royal’s alleged abuse of the then-17-year-old. David Boies, speaking exclusively to The Sun, said prosecutors began investigating Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell after civil claims against them.

    Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit says she was “forced to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will” and lists offences including “rape in the first degree”.

    A Balmoral source said of Her Majesty, faced with the fallout from Megxit and whose husband Philip died in April: “The Queen could do without this after the year she has had.

    “Summer at Balmoral is a special time when the family come together, take stock, relax and recharge their batteries.

    “But the first thing she is having to deal with is her 61-year-old son turning up on her doorstep with his ex-wife, hours after learning he is being sued for allegedly abusing a 17-year-old girl.”

  • [email protected]

    ONE'S HAD ENOUGH

    Prince Andrew could finally stripped of his "His Royal Highness" status as he faces a lawsuit for allegedly raping a 17-year-old trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein.

    The Duke of York had reportedly been hopefully for a return to public life – but these may have been shattered as he could face losing his title after already being stripped of his duties.

    Nigel Cawthorne, author of Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace, told Newsweek: "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."

    He added: "There are too many legal questions surrounding the prince and it is increasingly doubtful that he can hold on to his HRH status."

  • [email protected]

    ROYAL FIGHT

    Prince Andrew does not have diplomatic immunity that could protect him from a sex abuse lawsuit filed by Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

    The 61-year-old is facing a new wave of trouble over his links to the disgraced paedo financier – and its believed his status as a Royal will not be able to help him.

    Members of the the immediate royal household are considered immune – but Andrew is not believed to be included in this bracket, especially after he stepped back from his duties.

    Bob Morris, a constitutional law professor at UCL, told The Sun Online in December 2019: “[Sovereign immunity] is a concept devised to protect the position of heads of state, but heads of state only, not the members of their family in their function as head of state. And you can’t have more than one head of the state.

    “So it doesn’t apply to the members of people’s families, there is no logic in doing so.

    “Andrew is in the same position as any other UK citizen.”

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    QUESTIONABLE CONNECTION

    Prince Andrew has been advised by the ex-lawyer of rapist Harvey Weinstein.

    The news emerged last night as sex accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre threatens to sue the royal.

    Blair Berk, 57, known for solving stars’ legal scrapes, was consulted by representatives of the Duke of York, 61, The Sun can reveal.

    She was hired by shamed film mogul Weinstein in 2017 before he was jailed for rape and sex assault following a string of #MeToo claims by film actresses.

    Ms Berk has also worked for Kanye West, Lindsay Lohan and acted for Mel Gibson after he unleashed an anti-Jewish tirade when stopped by traffic cops.

    It is not known if she is still working on Andrew’s behalf.

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    SECOND LAWSUIT CONTINUED

    In her testimony in 2016, she said Andrew and Virginia Giuffre – then Roberts – were sat on a couch with a Spitting Image puppet on her lap.

    She added: “And so then I sat on Andrew’s lap – and I believe on my own volition – and they took the puppet’s hands and put it on Virginia’s breast, and so Andrew put his on mine.”

    A source has now told the Mirror: “JoJo has never been driven by money, but she does want to see justice served,” they said.

    “Her attorneys are closely looking at the act to see what redress may be open to her.”

    The Sun has contacted a representative for the Duke for comment but the Prince has vehemently denied the allegation in the past.

  • [email protected]

    SECOND LAWSUIT?

    The crisis surrounding Prince Andrew may get much worse as a second sexual assault claim could be made against him.

    Jeffrey Epstein’s former PA Johanna Sjoberg claims the Duke of York, 61, groped her breast when she was 21 years old.

    Previously she had been unable to sue because of the amount of time that had passed.

    But a likely change in US law could mean Ms Sjoberg may now be able to have her allegations heard in court.

    In June, the New York State Senate passed the Adult Survivors Act, which relates to survivors of sex crimes who were 18 or older when abused.

    If signed into law it will ensure those who stayed silent are able use civil courts to seek justice.

  • [email protected]

    MAPPED: EPSTEIN’S WEB OF ABUSE

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    ADVICE FOR ANDY

    Prince Andrew has been advised by the ex-lawyer of rapist Harvey Weinstein.

    The news emerged last night as sex accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre threatens to sue the royal.

    Blair Berk, 57, known for solving stars’ legal scrapes, was consulted by representatives of the Duke of York, 61, The Sun can reveal.

    She was hired by shamed film mogul Weinstein in 2017 before he was jailed for rape and sex assault following a string of #MeToo claims by film actresses.

    It is not known if she is still working on Andrew’s behalf.

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    CHASING ANDY

    Prince Andrew, 61, has always denied any allegations that he had sexual contact with Ms Giuffre or that he had any knowledge of Epstein’s wrongdoing.

    Andrew is named as the only defendant in the 15-page suit, brought under New York state’s Child Victims Act, though Epstein and his former girlfriend Maxwell are mentioned frequently throughout.

    It is the first time he has been subject to a lawsuit over the case since the allegations against him were made public ten years ago.

    Ms Giuffre is seeking unknown amounts of compensation and punitive damages over the allegations.

    Questions are now swirling about what is next for Andrew – with the Duke not enjoying the same diplomatic immunity held by his mum, The Queen.

    US officials have previously said they are not seeking to extradite Andrew, and this may not apply to Ms Giuffre’s case as it is civil suit rather than a criminal prosecution.

    However, Andrew may avoid ever setting foot in the US again.

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