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Prince Andrew ‘can’t win over family’ as lawsuit creates ‘enormous damage’ to reputation

Prince Andrew: Case has been 'dragging on' says Rupert Bell

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A royal commentator has urged Prince Andrew to “sort out” his ongoing lawsuit “one way or another”, as the reputation of the Royal Family continues to be at risk. Members of the family, particularly Prince Charles and Prince William, are reportedly “totally frustrated” at the progress of the civil case, which was filed on August 10. Prince Andrew is facing accusations of sexual abuse, which he has consistently denied. 

Royal commentator Rupert Bell told talkRadio: “That is what they’re frustrated about, is that it’s dragging on and they see Andrew as part of the reason why it has dragged on.

“You remember how long ago the Emily Maitlis interview was, that was pre-pandemic times.

“So therein lies the problem, it’s been dragging on and every corner and every day, there’s something else to be talked about with regards to Prince Andrew and this civil case against him.

“He has to sort it out one way or another, and until he does that, then he can’t win over his family who are obviously totally frustrated, particularly Charles and William, because they see that the damage is enormous.”

Prince Andrew’s accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, filed the civil case against him under New York’s Child Victims Act in August. 

Since then, the 61-year-old prince has maintained a low profile and has spent several weeks with the Queen at Balmoral, her Scottish residence.

He recently returned to his home at Royal Lodge in Windsor, where he met his baby granddaughter, Sienna Elizabeth, for the first time. 

The Duke of York has not publicly commented on the lawsuit, and his legal team spent several weeks denying that they had been formally served with the official papers. 

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Under the Hague Convention, a defendant must be formally notified of the proceedings against them in order for a court hearing to proceed. 

During a pre-trial conference on September 13, Ms Giuffre’s legal team presented a US judge with evidence that they had attempted to serve the prince with papers via courier, email and post. 

Prince Andrew’s team have since accepted that they have received the documents, and have until October 28 to offer a response. 

The case alleges that the prince sexually assaulted Ms Giuffre on three occasions, once in Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home, and twice at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and the US Virgin Islands. 

Ms Giuffre is claiming that Prince Andrew acted in full awareness that she was 17 years old, and a “victim of sex trafficking”.

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Now aged 38, she is seeking damages for the “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm” caused by his actions. 

Prince Andrew had befriended the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein during the 1990s, but terminated their friendship in 2010. Epstein was later arrested in 2019 after a number of women came forward to accuse the financier of sex trafficking and the solicitation of minors for prostitution. 

He later committed suicide in prison, whilst his close friend Ghislaine Maxwell is currently awaiting trial in New York. Prince Andrew has denied having any knowledge of Epstein’s alleged criminality. 

Speaking of the allegations against him, Prince Andrew told BBC Newsnight in 2019 that it “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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