Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Prince Andrew’s options are dwindling as a US showdown looms over Virginia Giuffre’s allegations

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If the Duke of York stays on its current course and fights the allegations pending trial, the public will hear a string of lurid allegations

Aside from not having to lock himself in the Tower of London, Prince Andrew has few options left in his US sexual assault lawsuit.

If Virginia Giuffre can prove her residency in the US and the Duke of York stays on his current course and fights the allegations pending trial, the public will hear all the lurid allegations about each of the three times she allegedly had sex with him in age of 17

She claims she was brought to him by the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew categorically rejects all allegations.

Ms. Giuffre would likely testify in person in New York City.

Prince Andrew wouldn’t have to show up – but it would probably send bad news to the jury if he wasn’t there.

The trial would take weeks and result in relentless media coverage around the world and in the US, where the royal family is being closely followed.

Should the Duke lose, the same jury will be asked to determine the amount of damages in the civil case, which could run into millions of pounds.

The sheer spectacle will make 2022 annus horribilis 2.0 for the Queen, the phrase she referred to in 1992 when three royal marriages collapsed and a fire destroyed Windsor Castle.

Even before the trial, which is expected to be scheduled for September, the noose is pulled tight around Andrew’s neck.

By then, he will have gone through the torturous discovery process, during which Ms Giuffre’s lawyers will request deeply personal documents from him, including medical records, to prove his claim that he can’t sweat, which he says proves he never met her danced in London in 2001.

The Duke is also facing testimony led by David Boies, one of America’s most feared lawyers, and Sigrid McCawley, a managing partner of her law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner. If Prince Andrew refuses, Ms Giuffre’s lawyers can seek a default judgment against him, which if upheld means he loses the case.

A refusal could also mean the prince may not be able to enter the US, as Ms Giuffre’s lawyers would ask the US Marshals to arrest him as soon as he enters the country and bring him to them for questioning.

Another option for the Duke might be to refuse to pay if he loses the case, but that would be a PR disaster and make him look like a lawbreaker.

Plan B for the Duke would be a deal – but Mr Boies has said it is not primarily about money for Ms Giuffre. It might also seem like an admission of guilt to some.

Whatever he decides – possibly including a public statement – it will add to the shame.

The prince can of course win the case.

The question now is how far the contagion will spread. The longer this goes on without an agreement, the worse things will get – not just for Prince Andrew, but for the royal family as well.

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