Relatives, aides and even ex-wife Sarah Ferguson could be forced into courtrooms to answer questions about Prince Andrew if the Duke sexual abuse case gets green light to continue in New York later this month.
The Duke of York, 61, has pledged to “put vigorously” in any legal battle against his accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
Ms Giuffre, now 38, claims he sexually assaulted her three times when she was 17 – in London, New York and on the Caribbean island of billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince Andrew has consistently refuted the allegations.
During his BBC Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis, Andrew claimed he was in a Pizza Express in Woking with his daughter the night of the alleged abuse in London, citing the Duchess of York as an alibi.
But the Duke is privately preparing to hand over “personal documents” in an intrusive process that could see family members and royal assistants dragged into the proceedings, the Telegraph reports.
That could be ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, who has remained fiercely loyal to the embattled duke, who will likely face subpoena if Andrew fails to throw his case away.
Prince Andrew, 61, is preparing privately to hand over ‘personal documents’ in an intrusive process that could see family members, royal aides and even ex-wife Sarah Ferguson dragged into his legal proceedings. Together in the picture in 2019
Virginia Roberts (pictured) claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times when she was only 17 – under the age of majority in the US. He denies the allegations
Royal insiders fear such a move would be a “quite traumatic” process that Andrew’s lawyers would enter only with “caution,” reports the Sunday Telegraph.
The Duke has until October 29 to respond to the civil suit, with a remote hearing scheduled for November 3.
Andrew Brettler, who leads Andrew’s team, told a judge at a recent hearing that the intention to advocate a 2009 agreement between Ms. Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein has exempted the Duke from “all possible liability.”
Newly filed court documents show that her team has obtained permission from Epstein’s estate to pass on the agreement, which had been kept top secret until now.
They have asked the judge to sign the transfer, signaling they believe it will have little impact on the case.
David Boies, Mrs Roberts’ attorney, wrote: “Jeffrey Epstein’s Estate has now agreed to Mrs Giuffre providing a copy of the confidential agreement in question to Prince Andrew.”
Mr Boies has warned that he finds the document ‘irrelevant’ to the case against the Duke.
Bradley Simon, an ex-Federal Prosecutor in New York, warned the Sunday Telegraph: “They’re going to ask for a sink.
“They’re going to search all correspondence, phone logs, emails, diaries. They go after people who were with him. It will be open season.’
Mr Simon suggested that the Duke as a senior royal figure was stuck ‘between a rock and a hard place’.
Virginia Roberts would have been photographed with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell in early 2001
His options are somewhat limited.
“I think the best course of action for him would be to settle quietly, but it seems the plaintiffs here want a big public spectacle so he may not be able to settle.”
The news comes after one of the most dramatic cases of royal redemption after Prince’s ex-wife Sarah Ferguson accompanied him to Balmoral in August, where senior members of the royal family met for the first time since the civil suit was filed.
The Duchess has also said she is “100 percent” sure Andrew is telling the truth about his part in the scandal surrounding convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
She told the Financial Times: ‘I want him [Andrew] to get through this. I want him to win.’
The Queen (pictured left, at the Balmoral Cricket Pavilion in Scotland yesterday) is spending millions of pounds to fund Prince Andrew’s (right) fight against sexual abuse allegations, reports say.
When asked why she was sure of his sincerity, she replied, “No question. I know all about him. I think he is an extraordinary person.”
The news comes as it became known that the Queen is spending millions of pounds to fund Prince Andrew’s fight against sexual abuse allegations.
Royal courtiers would expect the final legal bill to run into the millions as the civil case against Andrew dragged on for months or even years.
And a possible settlement or compensation would cost millions more on top of the total bill.