Prince Andrew is “on a collision course” with the royal family over his decision to seek a jury trial in the civil case being brought against him by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges the queen’s son raped her three times when she was 17.
British newspaper the Daily Mail also quoted a source saying the palace is “desperate” for Andrew to settle to remove the prospect of an embarrassing New York courtroom showdown that will overshadow the queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. These formally begin on Accession Day—Feb. 6—the anniversary of the queen’s father’s death in 1952, and will peak with a four-day holiday weekend in June.
The potential for embarrassment that a full jury trial could entail was made abundantly clear by British royal expert and lawyer Mark Stephens, who told the Mail: “Questions will be asked of Virginia Giuffre about the prince’s body, any marks, his performance, what positions were adopted—every detail that is conceivable to ask and then that will be put to Andrew.”
Although the queen belatedly acted this month to fully cut off Andrew from any formal connection to the royal family, the prospect of her second—and some say favorite—son being grilled about his sexual activities in open court would still represent an unprecedented humiliation for the royal family, which may be why a source told the Mail: “Andrew is on collision course with the palace” over his apparent determination to continue fighting the case.
Of course, it is unclear if Andrew has the money to settle with Giuffre, who is likely to demand a multimillion-dollar settlement to drop her claims, even if he wanted to. Previous reports have suggested that Prince Charles and Prince William are adamantly opposed to family money being used to pay off Andrew’s accuser, believing Andrew should “clear up his own mess.”
In recent weeks, The Daily Beast has been told that Andrew is selling a $20 million chalet he and his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, own in the Alpine ski resort of Verbier, Switzerland.
There has been some speculation this could provide cash to fund any settlement.
Yet attorney Spencer Kuvin, who has represented victims of Jeffrey Epstein, told British newspaper the Mirror that in fact, a sale before the trial could be a way of putting his assets beyond Giuffre’s reach, saying: “If Virginia gets a judgment against Andrew, if this went all the way through to trial and she received a financial judgment in her favor, she could execute on any properties he has, the most likely being his ski chalet.
“If Andrew had properties in any companion country that would abide by such jurisdiction of the U.S., she can execute on those properties.”