Lawsuit Ghislaine Maxwell ‘ready to help’ Prince Andrew fight teen sex attack claims
Virginia Roberts Giuffre has filed a lawsuit against Andrew
Prince Andrew with Virgina Roberts Giuffre in the picture from 2001
August 11 2021 07:24 AM
Ghislaine Maxwell is prepared to give evidence on behalf of Prince Andrew after he was sued for the sexual assault of a teenage girl 20 years ago.
Friends of Ms Maxwell said the socialite would support the Duke of York’s insistence that he had never had sex with Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
Ms Giuffre has filed a lawsuit against Andrew, alleging that she was a victim of sex trafficking and had been abused by him on three separate occasions when she was only 17.
The legal action raises the prospect of Prince Andrew being forced to give evidence on the stand in a New York courtroom. Ms Giuffre, now 38, claims she was abused by Prince Andrew after being groomed by Ms Maxwell for the sexual gratification of Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted paedophile who took his own life while awaiting further charges in 2019.
David Boise, her lawyer, last night claimed prince Andrew’s lawyers “have totally stonewalled”, adding: “He can ignore me. And he can ignore Virginia… but he can’t ignore judicial process.”
In the legal claim, prince Andrew is alleged to have “intentionally committed battery by sexually assaulting Plaintiff (Giuffre) when she was a minor”. It adds that “on multiple occasions prince Andrew intentionally touched the plaintiff in an offensive and sexual manner without her consent”.
Friends of Ms Maxwell have revealed the socialite, currently in prison awaiting a trial due in November on sex trafficking charges, will testify on behalf of the prince should the case ever reach court.
Ms Maxwell would herself need to be cleared of wrongdoing at her own trial if her evidence was to be considered credible in a New York court.
She is a key witness to a number of alleged incidents, including a claim by Ms Giuffre that she was forced to have sex with the prince at Ms Maxwell’s London home in 2001.
Prince Andrew denies all wrongdoing.
“Ghislaine will be prepared to give evidence on the duke’s behalf,” a friend said.
“By the time the case against the duke gets to court, Ghislaine will either be convicted and serving up to 85 years in jail (or)… if she is cleared, of course she would help prince Andrew.
“They have been friends for a very long time. It is highly likely Ghislaine will offer to assist him.”
The civil case shatters prince Andrew’s hope of a return to public life after being forced to step down from all royal duties after giving a disastrous interview to the BBC’s Newsnight in November 2019, in which he failed to condemn Epstein. Ms Giuffre alleges she was trafficked to prince Andrew and sexually abused on three occasions when she was 17, in London, New York and the US Virgin Islands.
“I am holding prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” she said. “The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions.”
Buckingham Palace aides have stressed that while family members privately support prince Andrew, a return to any sort of public role could only be considered if it was no longer overshadowed by his link to Epstein.
Such a development now appears unlikely, with Andrew facing the prospect of having to challenge the suit or settle out of court, which could be seen as an admission of guilt.
Should he ignore the legal case, the suit is likely to proceed without his participation.
Any trial in absentia would increase Ms Giuffre’s chances of winning, raising the prospect of Queen Elizabeth’s second oldest son being branded a sex offender.