This week, Virginia Giuffre filed a civil case in New York against Prince Andrew, claiming that he sexually abused her when she was 17. Giuffre, who is one of the most prominent accusers of convicted sex offender and serial rapist Jeffrey Epstein, claims she was sexually assaulted by Prince Andrew in London and New York.
The case alleges that Andrew sexually abused Giuffre when she was trafficked by Epstein and his associate Ghislaine Maxwell, both at Maxwell’s London home and at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The case details that the price knowingly engaged in sexual acts without Giuffre’s consent and with full awareness ‘that she was a sex-trafficking victim.’
Giuffre’s suit is a civil case filed by a private party for monetary damages, as opposed to a criminal case filed by the state. Andrew is still wanted for questioning by the FBI in New York regarding its investigation into Maxwell, who is currently awaiting her trial. Lisa Bloom, the lawyer representing six victims in this case, said it was ‘outrageous’ that Andrew had not cooperated with the investigation despite offering to do so over a year ago.
Andrew continues to deny the claims. His spokesperson said ‘no comment’ when asked about the new suit, which was filed under New York’s Child Victims Act. In a disastrous interview with BBC’s Newsnight last year, wherein he claimed he couldn’t sweat and that he didn’t regret being friends with our generation’s most notorious child sex trafficker, Andrew tried to push the narrative that the now-infamous photograph of him with then-17-year-old Giuffre was doctored. There’s no proof of that.
It seems dishearteningly unlikely that Andrew will go to New York to face justice. He has managed to avoid even a basic conversation with the FBI over the past year regarding a friendship he has bragged about on national TV. Contrary to some reports and Tweets, Andrew does not have diplomatic immunity. That’s a privilege reserved for the monarch. So, it may be smart of him to not plan any trips to America in the near future. Some have wondered if he’ll just settle this suit out of court but anything that could be perceived as an admission of guilt is probably not how The Firm wants to handle this.
The court of public opinion has already found him guilty anyway. The word ‘nonce’ was trending worldwide on Twitter yesterday when the news broke. Not that Andrew has done much to help his own case thanks to years of dodgy dealings and abuse of his position as a prince and former trade envoy. And then there’s that interview, one that should go down in history as the ultimate example of PR suicide. It’ll take a lot of media machinations to clean up that mess. Hell, yesterday on This Morning, we already had commentators trying to talk up Andrew’s military service and repeatedly stress how this is a ‘he said, she said’ case, as if the threat of a lawsuit were directly hanging over their heads (British libel laws are restrictive in a way that may explain this caution but it’s not as though the royal reporters have ever earned the benefit of the doubt. We’re just stunned they haven’t blamed Meghan Markle for all of this yet.)
Andrew is currently holidaying in Balmoral with his ex-wife and his mother. He is reportedly the Queen’s favorite child. His presence there is certainly implicit confirmation that Andrew has the monarch’s support on this matter.
Death to the monarchy.
Header Image Source: Getty Images.