Prince Andrew: Expert discusses public perception of royal
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The Duke of York faces a PR disaster after a former alleged Jeffrey Epstein victim filed a civil case against him on the grounds of sexual abuse. A branding expert compared the PR reputations of the Duke of York and the Duchess of Cambridge, saying that whilst Kate has become a “pillar of society”, Prince Andrew will struggle to regain popularity amongst the public. The Duke has categorically denied all allegations made against him.
Paula London told GB News: “If you think about it, William and Kate are just absolutely amazing, they’re pillars of society, they do so much work for charity.
“I think people forget that Kate had a very hard time when she joined the Royal Family, she was called from a peasant’s family, etc but she just got along with it and everyone loves her.
“But, what Prince Andrew has been accused of is abhorrent, he hasn’t been convicted of anything but those rumours won’t go away and there’s nothing he can really do to get the public to like him ever again for the rest of his life.”
Prince Andrew’s accuser filed the lawsuit on August 10 under New York’s Child Victims Act.
The case alleges that the Prince sexually abused Virginia Roberts Giuffre at the London home of Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and in the US Virgin Islands.
Ms Giuffre has claimed that Prince Andrew acted in full awareness of her age and that she was “a victim of sex-trafficking”.
At the time of the alleged assault, Ms Giuffre was 17 years old. The legal age of consent in the US Virgin Islands remains 18.
Now aged 38, she is claiming that the Duke’s actions caused her “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm”.
In court documents, lawyers for Prince Andrew’s accuser claimed: “In this country no person, whether president or prince, is above the law, and no person, no matter how powerless or vulnerable, can be deprived of the law’s protection.
“Twenty years ago Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her. It is long past the time for him to be held to account.”
Prince Andrew has consistently denied all allegations made against him, telling BBC Newsnight in 2019 that the abuse “never happened”.
He told BBC journalist Emily Maitlis: “It didn’t happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
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The Duke of York became friends with the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein during the 1990s, but terminated their friendship in 2010.
After a number of young women, including Ms Giuffre, came forward to reveal the extent of the disgraced financier’s sex trafficking ring, he was arrested in 2019. He later committed suicide in jail.
Prince Andrew has denied having any knowledge of Epstein’s criminal behaviour and sexual abuse.
In a statement following the broadcast of his interview with the BBC, the Duke said: “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.
“His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.
“I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
Neither Prince Andrew or Buckingham Palace have commented on the case.
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