The second son of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is currently facing the prospect of appearing in a New York court to face the allegations, after Ms Roberts brought a civil lawsuit against him.
Virginia Giuffre Roberts claims the Duke of York slept with her three times when she was 17. Andrew has repeatedly and strenuously denied the allegations over the years.
‘Virginia has always just wanted the prince to acknowledge that he did something he shouldn’t have, she wants him to apologize. She has never made this all about money,’ a source close to Ms Roberts told the New York Post.
‘I think she would have dropped this a long, long time ago had the prince said he was guilty of wrongdoing, but he’s embroiled in denial which has brought him down.’
Pictured: Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends the Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints in Windsor, England, in April 2021. Andrew could have avoided his on-going sexual assault lawsuit if he had apologised to his accuser years ago, sources have claimed
The source’s comments came after a New York Judge Lewis Kaplan said he will decide ‘pretty soon’ whether to dismiss a sexual assault lawsuit against Andrew.
The royal’s lawyers argued Tuesday that he was protected by a settlement that his accuser signed in 2009.
Attorney Andrew Brettler told a court hearing Virginia Giuffre had ‘waived her rights’ to sue other defendants in relation to alleged sex crimes committed by late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Judge Kaplan did not make an immediate ruling but appeared to express skepticism at Andrew’s argument, questioning how a third party could enforce an agreement that it didn’t know about when it was signed.
The hearing in the civil action filed by Giuffre – also a longtime accuser of Epstein’s companion, the convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell – were held via video conference with the public able to listen in by telephone.
Giuffre alleges Andrew also sexually abused her at the London home of Maxwell, who last week was found guilty of sex trafficking minors for Epstein.
‘You would be hard pressed to find someone who Ghislaine’s guilty conviction affects more than Prince Andrew,’ the source told the New York Post.
‘This changes everything for how we think about anyone connected to Epstein. Andrew is 61 and he’s about to have a reckoning.’
The Duke of York was photographed with his arm around the bare waist of then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts. In the background, Ghislaine Maxwell. Roberts claims she was forced to have sex with the royal three times. Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations
Miss Roberts, 38, claims she was 17 when she slept with Andrew three times in 2001 under orders from Epstein. Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations
Giuffre alleges that Epstein lent her out for sex with his wealthy and powerful associates, including to Andrew.
The deal made public for the first time Monday by a New York court showed that Giuffre agreed to drop a civil claim against Epstein for $500,000.
The settlement contained a provision that purports to protect ‘other potential defendants’ from being sued related to alleged sexual abuse committed by Epstein, who killed himself in jail in 2019.
Brettler described it as ‘unambiguous’ and argued that it protected the prince from litigation.
‘Miss Giuffre intended to release a broad category of individuals, including royalty, including businessmen,’ Brettler said.
‘She waived her rights to sue them when she entered into the 2009 release agreement and accepted the money from Mr. Epstein.’
But the judge said that neither he nor Brettler could ‘find any meaning at all’ in the word ‘potential.’
Giuffre sued the prince for unspecified damages last year, alleging he sexually assaulted her in 2001 when she was 17 and a minor under American law.
She says Andrew assaulted her at Epstein’s home in New York, and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.
Prince Andrew has hired Hollywood attorney Andrew Brettler (right) to represent him in the sexual assault case brought against him by his accuser and Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre
Andrew’s lawyer was seeking to persuade the court that his accuser, Virginia Roberts, had waived her right to sue him when she signed an earlier £370,000 ($500,000) legal settlement with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the duke’s friend. The 2009 settlement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre was unsealed on Monday
Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies argued that the Epstein-Giuffre agreement was unrelated to Andrew because it was signed in Florida.
‘Prince Andrew was not subject to jurisdiction,’ he told judge Kaplan.
Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman said he expected Kaplan to reject Andrew’s stance. ‘Are they saying everybody in the world is now free because of the settlement? It’s a tough sell,’ he told AFP news agency.
Andrew, 61, has not been criminally charged.
Maxwell, who introduced Andrew to Epstein in the early 1990s, faces life behind bars after being convicted by New York jurors on five counts.
Epstein died aged 66 in a Manhattan jail in what New York’s coroner ruled was a suicide, after being charged with child sex trafficking.
Back in 2008 he was convicted of paying young girls for sexual massages in Florida but served just 13 months in jail after striking a deal with the then-state prosecutor.
Andrew has rarely been seen in public since he was forced to quit the royal frontline in 2019 for failing to distance himself from Epstein.
In a disastrous interview with the BBC that year, Andrew denied Giuffre’s claim that they had shared a sweaty dance at a London nightclub, saying that at the time he could not sweat due to a condition related to having fought in the 1982 Falklands War.
Last week, Giuffre’s lawyers demanded Andrew hand over medical records proving that he cannot sweat. Andrew’s legal team has accused Giuffre of seeking to profit from a ‘baseless lawsuit.’
If the case proceeds and Giuffre and Andrew don’t settle then it could go before a jury trial, likely in the latter half of this year.
On Friday, Kaplan rejected attempts by Andrew’s lawyers to halt progression of the suit on the grounds that Giuffre now lives in Australia.