Prince Andrew looks to overturn multi-million-pound Virginia Giuffre settlement

Prince Andrew looks to overturn multi-million-pound Virginia Giuffre settlement
Prince Andrew looks to overturn multi-million-pound Virginia Giuffre settlement

The Duke of York is to make a legal bid to overturn the multi-million-pound settlement he struck with his sexual abuse accuser, it has been claimed.

Prince Andrew is said to have consulted lawyers after Virginia Giuffre dropped a separate sexual abuse claim against US lawyer Alan Dershowitz, admitting that she “may have made a mistake” in claiming he had abused her as a teenager.

The Duke is understood to believe that the “extraordinary” development following an eight-year legal battle prompted serious questions over Ms Giuffre’s credibility.

He is now said to be in discussions about how to force a retraction, or even an apology, from Ms Giuffre, which could pave the way for a return to royal duties.

The King will not oppose any further legal action his brother might take to clear his name, according to reports.

‘This isn’t about the money’

A source told the Mail on Sunday of the Duke: “He wants to see what legal routes might be available to him.

“This isn’t about the money. He wants a route back to some sort of normality after a deeply trying period. I can tell you with confidence that Prince Andrew’s team is now considering legal options.”

Legal experts suggest the Duke would have to file a “motion to vacate the stipulation of settlement”, providing reasons to overturn the deal, such as fraud, duress, mistake or accident.

It came as Ghislaine Maxwell, a former girlfriend of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, defended her “dear friend” the Duke in a television interview from a Florida jail, where she is serving 20 years after being found guilty of child sex trafficking and other charges.

Maxwell claimed she did not introduce Prince Andrew to Ms Giuffre and insisted that she believed a now infamous photograph of them together taken at her London home in 2001, was a fake.

Maxwell claimed she did not introduce Prince Andrew to Ms Giuffre and insisted that she believed a now infamous photograph of them together taken at her London home in 2001, was a fake.
Maxwell claimed she did not introduce Prince Andrew to Ms Giuffre and insisted that she believed a now infamous photograph of them together taken at her London home in 2001, was a fake.

She told TalkTV that the Duke should be “uplifted” by the collapse of the Dershowitz case as it cast new doubt on Ms Giuffre’s account.

“Her story frankly has changed multiple times. It’s very hard to know really what’s true or not,” she said, adding that the true story “has yet to unfold”.

On the photograph, she said: “I have no memory of them meeting and I don’t think that picture is real.

“There is no original of that photo, [only] copies of it that have been produced, copies of copies. Parts of it, according to some experts, looks like it has been photoshopped.

“I don’t remember her in my home. I know that Virginia travelled with Jeffrey, and so it’s entirely possible. But the photo doesn’t appear to be real, and I don’t recall it being taken.”

Ms Giuffre accused Prince Andrew of raping and abusing her three times in 2001, when she was 17.

She sued him in August 2020, setting in train a bitter six-month legal battle.

The Duke has always vehemently protested his innocence and was determined to take the civil case to trial to clear his name.

However, Buckingham Palace urged him to settle as the lurid claims increasingly dominated the news agenda and threatened to overshadow last year’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The two sides reached an out-of-court settlement last February, shortly after the Duke was stripped of his military titles and charity patronages and ordered not to use his HRH title.

The $12million settlement deal included a 12-month gagging clause that will expire next month, raising the prospect that Ms Guiffre might be free to repeat her allegations.

In November, Ms Giuffre admitted that she “may have made a mistake” in accusing Mr Dershowitz of sexually abusing her as a teenager.

The admission drew a line under eight years of claims and counterclaims between the pair as she agreed to withdraw her defamation suit against the Harvard law emeritus.

For several months, Ms Giuffre’s legal proceedings against Mr Dershowitz and the Duke had continued in parallel.

The Duke’s barrister, Andrew Brettler, insisted in court that Ms Giuffre’s pattern of filing lawsuits against high-profile individuals should “no longer be tolerated”.

The Duke is now said to be taking unofficial advice from Mr Dershowitz, who has repeatedly argued that he should never have settled.

Neither Buckingham Palace, the Duke’s office nor his lawyers have responded to requests for comment.

Published by anthonyhayble

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