Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Attorney for eight Epstein victims says her clients could appear at any Prince Andrew trial

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Los Angeles attorney Lisa Bloom said one or more of the women could waive their right to anonymity

Virginia Giuffre could be assisted in her civil lawsuit for sexual assault against Prince Andrew by several other victims of Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking ring, according to the lawyer who represents eight women whom the late financier also abused.

In conversation with I, Los Angeles Attorney Lisa Bloom raised the prospect that some of her clients could testify at the trial and that one or more could waive their right to anonymity to do so.

When asked if some of her clients could potentially appear on Ms Giuffre’s witness list, Ms Bloom said: “Yes, absolutely.”

Whether some of the women will be willing to give up their anonymity during a trial, she added, “I guess that remains to be seen.”

The Duke of York, who was stripped of his honorary military titles by the Queen on Thursday and will no longer use the styling of HRH, is facing civil charges over sexual assault by Ms Giuffre, one of Epstein’s victims.

During the recent trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, in which she was found guilty of being a co-conspirator of the late pedophile, four other victims came forward as witnesses against the former British socialite.

The women said they were sexually abused by Epstein when they were under 18 – the age of consent in the US – and that Maxwell facilitated and sometimes participated in that abuse.

Of the four witnesses, only Annie Farmer testified under her real name. Two others – “Kate” and “Jane” – used false names, while the fourth, Carolyn, used only her real first name.

Maxwell was found guilty by a New York jury on five of the six charges against her. She continues to maintain her innocence and her legal team has vowed to appeal the conviction.

Despite raising the prospect of some of her clients appearing as witnesses during Prince Andrew’s trial, Ms Bloom remains unsure if the case will make it to court as it could be settled before the Duke is faced with the prospect of before to appear before a jury of six in New York.

“It’s really going to be up to the two parties, Virginia and Prince Andrew,” she said, adding that 95 percent of such cases are settled before the trial.

“But this case is very different. Virginia is really in the driver’s seat now. What would the conditions [of a settlement] would she be acceptable? I would assume that she would like him to admit what she accuses him of. But I don’t think he wants to admit that.”

Before representing some of Epstein’s victims, Ms Bloom was on the other side of an abuse case when she was a counsel to Harvey Weinstein, who was sentenced to 23 years in prison for rape and sexual assault in March 2020. MeToo movement against sexual abuse and sexual harassment of women.

After that experience, during which she was involved in trying to discredit some of the allegations against Weinstein, she believes every step taken by Prince Andrew’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, to portray Ms Giuffre as only interested in securing or claiming a lucrative payday , she was involved in Epstein’s activities would backfire.

“I’ve had a lot of cases against Andrew Brettler, I know him well,” she said. “I’m sure he will. The problem he has is that what can make an impact in the courtroom comes across as a lead balloon in the public eye.

“I don’t think people want to see her attacked, want to see her credibility eroded. This is a dangerous PR move.”

Mrs. Bloom also believes the Duke’s friendship with Epstein and Maxwell is being investigated during a trial. “We already know that Ghislaine Maxwell is now a convicted sex trafficker and was a good friend of Prince Andrew, as was Epstein. And he will have to explain that. “

Ms Giuffre has made several allegations that she was sexually abused by Prince Andrew, including once alleging that it took place at Maxwell’s London home in March 2001. Prince Andrew has consistently denied all claims made against him.

A source close to the Duke said: “Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan took our arguments, we are not surprised by the ruling. However, it was not a verdict on the merits of Ms Giuffre’s allegations. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and the Duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.”

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