Prince Andrew locked in crisis talks with Queen and advisers, including ex-wife Fergie
Prince Andrew is locked in talks with Her Majesty after arriving in Balmoral with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson after Virginia Giuffre announced she was suing him for allegedly sexually assaulting her
VIDEO LOADINGPrince Andrew: Virginia Giuffre brings legal action against Duke
ByRussell MyersRoyal editor
- 14:52, 11 Aug 2021
- UPDATED20:28, 11 Aug 2021
Prince Andrew is locked in crisis talks with the Queen and his advisers – including his ex-wife Fergie – as they battle to respond after he was sued for allegedly sexually assaulting a teenager.
The Duke of York is “fighting to save the last crumb of his reputation”, after fleeing to see the Queen at Balmoral where she is on her summer holiday.
Royal sources have confirmed Andrew, 61, was due to be one of his mother’s first guests in Scotland, but was “not due for some days”, before he was summoned by the monarch.
The prince, who was forced into exile from his royal role following revelations of his close relationship with the late convicted child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, is now being sued in the United States by a woman who claims she was forced to have sex with him on three occasions in 2001.
Virginia Giuffre – who was known as Virginia Roberts – has alleged the Duke is guilty of “rape in the first degree”, when she was held against her will by Epstein when she was 17 in 2001.
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He was reportedly seen arriving in Balmoral on Tuesday night for the Queen’s annual summer getaway ( Image: Getty Images)
Prince Andrew is said to be locked in talks with the Queen and his advisers ( Image: REUTERS)
Andrew, who has always vehemently denied the allegations against him, is understood to want to issue a statement clarifying his innocence against the latest lawsuit, but sources have revealed he has been advised to wait until his legal team “have fully examined exactly what they are dealing with”.
Andrew left his Royal Lodge home in Windsor with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, with whom he still lives despite being divorced since 1996, before arriving in Scotland yesterday just after 6pm.
Ms Giuffre filed the civil suit on Monday, seeking unspecified damages at a federal court in New York, where the documents claim that she was “lent out for sexual purposes” by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, while she was a minor under US law.
One royal source said: “He was summoned up to Balmoral, there’s no doubt about it.
“The Duke is locked in talks, both with the Queen and his advisors which includes his ex wife who it’s fair to say is his closest confidant.Andrew is understood to have been accompanied to Scotland by his wife Sarah Ferguson ( Image: ITV)‘
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“It’s no surprise to anyone Fergie has ended up being very publicly back on the scene mere weeks after the Duke of Edinburgh’s death.
“Everyone knows the clock is ticking and all the whole further embarrassment is being caused but after this latest turn he is fighting to save the last crumb of his reputation.”
Ms Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies said the Duke of York “cannot hide behind wealth and palace walls” and must respond to sexual abuse allegations.
He said his team had been “stonewalled” after “repeated attempts” to contact Andrews legal representatives over a possible settlement.Virginia Giuffre aka Virginia Roberts, says she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew at the age of 17 ( Image: BBC)
Andrew’s team has previously said in a lengthy statement last August that at least three attempts had been made to contact US investigators probing historiacal sex abuse allegations against Epstein and his former lover Ghislaine Maxwell.
Mr Boies 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”.
The lawyer said people “ignore the courts at your peril” and that “it would be very ill-advised for Prince Andrew to ignore judicial process”.
The duke has always denied having sex with Giuffre and so far has offered “no comment” through his lawyers to this latest development.Prince Andrew is seen with his arm around 17-year-old Virginia Roberts as Ghislaine Maxwell smiles from the background ( Image: Collect Unknown)
Legal experts have suggested that while the pressure is ramping up on the royal to answer the allegations, the lawsuit may not be enforceable in England.
A civil judgment in the US would normally be enforced in England by applying to the High Court.
The Queen is understood to be supportive of her son, however she was furious after his catastrophic Newsnight appearance in 2019, largely accepted in royal circles as “lifting the lid” on current events.
Andrew has previously issued a statement saying he “continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein” while confirming “I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required”.
Last August where his team said they had attempted to speak to US investigators three times – a claim denied by those running the investigations into Jeffrey Epstein and his former lover Ghislaine Maxwell.
Former socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, 59, is currently in a New York prison awaiting trial on a number of charges relating to her allegedly procuring teenage girls for Epstein.
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