US

Prince Andrew is ‘convinced’ he will brush off rape and sex assault allegations, insiders claim

Prince Andrew is ‘utterly convinced’ that he will brush off allegations of rape and sexual assault from Jeffrey Epstein’s former sex slave and believes he could return to public life as soon as the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year, insiders have claimed.

The Duke of York has apparently told aides that the scandal surrounding the bombshell lawsuit filed in a US court by Virginia Giuffre will ‘blow over’ and has earmarked a return to the royal front line in time for Her Majesty’s historic anniversary next year.

Sources described Andrew’s ‘incredibly bullish’ attitude and said he believes there is time to salvage his reputation. Palace sources have insisted the duke will ‘not take part’ in any of the official celebrations marking the Queen’s seven decades on the throne.

One insider close to the royal told The Daily Mirror: ‘It is clear he (Andrew) has a clear and burning desire to return to work as soon as possible. 

‘That may look entirely impossible but if anything he’s become emboldened in recent weeks and remains utterly convinced he will not only be exonerated but will certainly forge a way back to public life.

‘Certainly he has given the incredibly bullish impression that this will all blow over within a short while, rather than become a protracted issue.’

Andrew was seen leaving the Royal Lodge in Berkshire with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson on Tuesday for Balmoral, where the Queen is currently on holiday, as attempts to serve legal papers on him over sex allegations at Windsor continue. 

On Wednesday the duke was seen at a a fishing lodge in a secluded forest six miles from Balmoral and was said to have had a personal lunch with the Queen. 

Another source revealed the Duke had been in a ‘buoyant’ mood, adding:  ‘Andrew claims he hasn’t read the news and hasn’t kept up with what is happening around him, which anyone can see is not only catastrophic for his reputation but very damaging for the wider royal family.’ 

Andrew has not yet publicly responded to the bombshell lawsuit filed in a US court by paedophile financier Epstein’s ex-sex slave Ms Giuffre, who claims he sexually abused her when she was 17. The duke has always denied her allegations. 

Ms Giuffre has accused Andrew of abusing her at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion as well as his private Caribbean island, and at the London home of his madam Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently in a New York jail awaiting sex abuse and grooming charges.

Prince Andrew is pictured with Sarah Ferguson in the back seat of the Range Rover as they left Windsor

Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre, was photographed with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell in London in 2001

Virginia Roberts, now Virginia Giuffre, was photographed with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell in London in 2001

Prince Andrew (left) arrives at Balmoral with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in the back of a Range Rover

Prince Andrew (left) arrives at Balmoral with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in the back of a Range Rover

The Queen during an inspection at the gates at Balmoral as she takes up summer residence at the Scottish castle on August 9

The Queen during an inspection at the gates at Balmoral as she takes up summer residence at the Scottish castle on August 9

Timeline of another dramatic month in the Prince Andrew case 

  • August 9: Virginia Giuffre files a civil case in New York claiming Prince Andrew sexually abused her aged 17
  • August 10: Andrew arrives at Balmoral with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, and is joined by Eugenie the next day
  • August 10: US lawyers were allegedly trying to hold him up on his horse to serve him papers before he left.
  • August 12: Dame Cressida Dick says she has told Met Police detectives to review the claims against Andrew 
  • August 13: Ms Giuffre’s lawyer says Andrew will be served papers in person under the Hague Convention
  • August 14: Epstein’s telecoms specialist says he will swear on oath that he saw Andrew groping Ms Giuffre 
  • August 15: Andrew’s friends say he is ‘cheerful and relaxed’ over the case in and will remain silent
  • August 16: A source close to the US probe into Jeffrey Epstein says they view Andrew as a ‘person of interest’
  • September 7: Andrew leaves Royal Lodge in Windsor and travels nearly 500 miles to Balmoral in Scotland
  • September 13: First telephone conference in the case is scheduled at Manhattan Federal Court in New York
  • December 8: Deadline for Andrew to be served with court papers in person under the Hague Convention

Papers have not yet been served on the Duke of York or his lawyers despite ‘multiple attempts’ at Royal Lodge in the last fortnight, according to The Sun – and Andrew is now set to stay at the Queen’s 50,000 acre estate while the case is heard.

Andrew will have to be served in person with court papers including a copy of Ms Guiffre’s complaint under the Hague Convention international law treaty because he is a foreign citizen.

When the lawsuit was filed, her legal team were given 120 days to get Andrews the papers or his lawyers could try to get the case dismissed. 

Andrew would have 21 days to respond once the papers are officially served.

Under the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules, papers must be served on all defendants within 120 days after a civil complaint is filed at court – and the action can then be dismissed unless the plaintiff can ‘show good cause for the delay’. 

This means Ms Guiffre’s lawyers will have until December 8 to serve the papers on Andrew. 

The civil suit is due to be heard via a telephone conference next Monday in Manhattan.   

A source told the Sun: ‘Andrew was going stir-crazy inside Royal Lodge for the past few weeks. 

‘He wasn’t going horse riding and couldn’t step outside because of attempts to serve him with the legal papers.

‘He knows he is far safer up at Balmoral on the Queen’s estate. Andrew is always described as the Queen’s favourite son but she is meant to be on holiday at Balmoral.

‘With Andrew and everything that is happening with Charles and the investigation into cash for honours she must be wondering when she will get any peace and quiet.’ 

The duke has stepped back from public duties ‘for the foreseeable future’ after his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein surfaced in 2019.

Ms Guiffre, 38, alleges that Epstein forced her to have sex with Andrew three times when she was aged 17.

Andrew has strenuously denied her claims that she was forced to have sex with him on Epstein’s orders. He said he categorically did not have any sexual contact with her and does not even recall meeting her.

Last month it was claimed Andrew is considered a ‘person of interest’ in the US investigation into Epstein.

Prosecutors had wanted to interview the Queen’s son about his friendship with Epstein as part of their inquiry into the sex offender and Ghislaine Maxwell.

It was always said investigators wished to speak to him only as a ‘witness’ in case he can throw any light on the crimes of Epstein, who killed himself in jail in 2019. 

But last month a source told Reuters that he is being seen as a ‘person of interest’. One leading criminal defence attorney said that while the term does not have any formal meaning in the US, the fact the FBI were apparently using it about Andrew was ‘not good’. 

Mark Bederow, a New York criminal defence attorney, said: ‘It means they are interested in knowing about his conduct and whether he knew that a potential crime has occurred.’ 

He added it does not mean that he would ever be charged, however.

Prince Charles and Camilla at Ballater Community and Heritage Hub in Aberdeenshire on August 31, near the Balmoral estate

Prince Charles and Camilla at Ballater Community and Heritage Hub in Aberdeenshire on August 31, near the Balmoral estate

By revealing their thinking at this stage, a week after Mrs Giuffre filed a civil lawsuit against him, it seems like ‘publicity pressure mechanism’, Mr Bederow said. 

Virginia Roberts alleges that Jeffrey Epstein (above) forced her to have sex with Andrew three times when she was just 17

Virginia Roberts alleges that Jeffrey Epstein (above) forced her to have sex with Andrew three times when she was just 17

MailOnline contacted Andrew’s press representative for a comment about the Sun’s story, but they replied: ‘No comment.’

Ghislaine Maxwell is currently on remand in at Metropolitan Detention Centre (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York, awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, which she denies. She is due to go on trial in November.

Last month, prosecutors claimed she tried to barricade herself in a prison room, saying she created a security threat by using a cart of legal documents to block the door.

Her actions were said to have prevented guards from entering the video conference room. As a result, Maxwell was banned from bringing the cart in and was forced to carry materials from her cell to the conference room.

The British socialite has been at the prison since last July, when she was arrested for allegedly recruiting children for Epstein to abuse. 

Virginia Giuffre (centre, in blue) in New York in 2019 with her lawyer David Boies for a hearing

Virginia Giuffre (centre, in blue) in New York in 2019 with her lawyer David Boies for a hearing

Andrew has travelled with Sarah Ferguson to Balmoral Castle (file picture), with is the Queen's Scottish retreat

Andrew has travelled with Sarah Ferguson to Balmoral Castle (file picture), with is the Queen’s Scottish retreat

The Queen with her son Prince Andrew on the Buckingham Palace balcony in June 2019

The Queen with her son Prince Andrew on the Buckingham Palace balcony in June 2019

Prince Charles awards a CBE to Saudi tycoon Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz at Buckingham Palace in November 2016

Prince Charles awards a CBE to Saudi tycoon Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz at Buckingham Palace in November 2016  

What is the latest on Ghislane Maxwell’s case?

Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged madam of Jeffrey Epstein, is currently on remand in at Metropolitan Detention Centre (MDC) in Brooklyn, New York.

She is awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, which she denies. Maxwell is due to go on trial in November.

Last month, prosecutors claimed she tried to barricade herself in a prison room and created a security threat by using a cart of legal documents to block the door.

Her actions were said to have prevented guards from entering the video conference room. Maxwell was then banned from bringing the cart in and was forced to carry materials from her cell to the conference room.

The British socialite has been at the prison since last July, when she was arrested for allegedly recruiting children for Epstein to abuse. There have been disputes about her cell not being clean and allegations that she does not flush her toilet. 

Maxwell’s lawyer said her client never tried to block her door with the cart and stop the guards getting in.

There have been disputes about her cell not being clean and allegations that she does not flush her toilet.

 Maxwell’s lawyer Bobbi Sternheim said her client never tried to block her door with the cart and stop the guards getting in.

The allegations against Andrew are not the only crisis unfolding for the Royal Family, as it has recently been claimed that the Prince of Wales was ‘100 per cent’ behind an offer to help Saudi tycoon Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz secure UK citizenship.

Clarence House said Charles has ‘no knowledge’ of the cash for honours allegations on the basis of donation to his charities, denying allegations by a former fixer.

The claims by William Bortrick – a paid advisor to Dr bin Mahfouz, who is a major donor to Charles’s charities – came as the Prince’s former valet Michael Fawcett stepped down on a temporary basis as chief of the Prince’s Foundation while investigations into the allegations take place.

A string of claims about 58-year-old Mr Fawcett’s conduct while running the charity included the allegation that he had offered to ‘support’ Dr bin Mahfouz in his efforts to secure both a knighthood and British citizenship. 

And new allegations about Charles’s apparent involvement have emerged in a draft letter from Mr Bortrick to Dr bin Mahfouz, who donated more than £1.5million to Charles’s charities.

A letter by Burke’s Peerage publisher Mr Bortrick, which was drafted in May 2014 and revealed by The Times,  said that Dr bin Mahfouz’s application for citizenship would ‘now take the highest priority’.

It added: ‘His Royal Highness supports these applications 100 per cent, as there is no greater example of contribution [than] yours, therefore this should be rewarded and recognised accordingly.’ 

A spokesman for the prince said: ‘The Prince of Wales has no knowledge of the alleged offer of honours or British citizenship on the basis of donation to his charities and fully supports the investigation now under way by The Prince’s Foundation.’ 


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