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Prince Andrew could stop Fergie having to give evidence at trial if they remarry

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Prince Andrew could avoid Sarah Ferguson being forced to give evidence in a lawsuit pursued by accuser and Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre.

The Duke of York faces a possible civil suit for sexual assault after Ms Giuffre, 38, filed charges in August.

She alleges Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her at British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell's London home and the Virgin Islands estate of late financier Epstein, who was convicted of procuring a child for prostitution in 2008.

Ms Giuffre was 17 at the time of the alleged incidents, which she says took place in 2001.

Prince Andrew has not been charged with any crimes and strongly denies any accusations of wrongdoing.

He was married to Sarah, Duchess of York from 1986 to 1996.

Yet as rumours swirl of Fergie and Andrew rekindling their marriage after 25 years apart, it has also been suggested the Duchess of York could avoid being obliged to testify in court if the pair remarry.

Ferguson may be subpoenaed by Ms Giuffre's legal team after her lawyer, David Boies, suggested he may call two UK witnesses, the Telegraph reported.

Under British and American law, spousal privilege means the husband or wife of a defendant cannot be compelled to give evidence about their spouse in court.

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Were Andrew and Fergie to remarry, Sarah would therefore not be obliged to testify at any potential civil proceedings.

Lawyer Thomas Garner said spousal privilege could prove a "point of litigation" in the US, but it would by no means let the Duke of York off the hook.

Mr Garner said: "It's no magic bullet.

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"One can’t just wave the marriage certificate and say game over."

Yet the biggest impact of a poorly timed remarriage on the part of Andrew and Fergie would be PR damage rather than legal blowback, the lawyer added.

Mr Garner explained: "More fundamentally though, whether or not this ultimately worked as a strategy, this kind of legal chicanery is not terribly attractive.

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"If the pair were to remarry ostensibly to avoid her being compelled to give evidence I think there would be almost certainly be further reputational backlash for Prince Andrew and indeed Sarah, the Duchess of York.

"As to whether that is a price worth paying that is matter for the Prince and his legal team."

In September it was reported Fergie was "back in the royal crowd".

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That was after becoming closer to Andrew, who she also moved back in with to raise Beatrice and Eugenie.

She said in 2018: "Although we are not a couple, we really believe in each other."

Meanwhile, lawyer and media expert Mark Stephens poured cold water on the possibility Fergie could damage Andrew's case with any court testimony.

Mr Stephens said: "I don't think it will make a damn bit of difference, because I doubt she has any relevant information.

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"It all appears a bit of a red herring."

Either way, Mr Stephens continued, it's unlikely Sarah Ferguson was in the loop on the subject of Andrew's alleged dealing with Epstein.

He added: "You know, how many blokes tell their wives if they've been having an affair?"

  • Prince Andrew
  • Sarah Ferguson
  • Jeffrey Epstein
  • Exclusives

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