Prince Andrew is reportedly assembling a $12 million war chest to launch a legal case against sexual abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre in a bid to force her to retract the allegations — and possibly apologize — in court.
In a civil lawsuit filed in 2020, Giuffre accused the Duke of York of raping and abusing her on three occasions in 2001 when she was just 17.
Though Prince Andrew has refuted any wrongdoing, he agreed to an out-of-court settlement paid to Giuffre in February 2022 amid pressure from Buckingham Palace that damaging headlines were distracting from Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.
The settlement amount was reported to be anywhere between $3.6 million to $14.8 million.
“Andrew has always insisted he is innocent and finally wants to prove it in a US court,” an unnamed royal source told The Sun. “He was pressured into settling the case to avoid overshadowing the Platinum Jubilee and has paid a heavy price, personally and professionally.”
“The King is happy for him to pursue this,” the source added. “As Head of State, he can’t back him publicly, but Andrew is still his brother, and he wants the best for him.”
The Telegraph reported that Prince Andrew consulted with his attorneys after Giuffre dropped a separate sexual abuse lawsuit against American lawyer Alan Dershowitz in November.
In what the Duke of York viewed as an “extraordinary development,” Giuffre admitted in court documents that she “may have made a mistake” in claiming Dershowitz had abused her as a teenager.
The Mirror reported that one of Prince Andrew’s top lawyers told him he can “forget it,” advising the Duke of York against going after Giuffre and that he should “just feel grateful that he is not in jail.”
Though he has denied the sexual abuse allegations even in settling, Prince Andrew was stripped of his military titles and charity patronages and ordered not to use his HRH title. His new legal fight against Giuffre could pave the wave for the Duke of York’s eventual return to royal duties.
In her first post-conviction interview from behind bars set to air on TalkTV Monday, Ghislaine Maxwell, who is serving a 20-year sentence in a Florida federal prison for her role in a scheme to sexually exploit and abuse multiple minor girls with Jeffrey Epstein over the course of a decade, claimed that the infamous photo depicting Prince Andrew and Giuffre at her London home in 2001 is a “fake.”
The disgraced Oxford-educated socialite also alleges she has “no memory” of introducing the pair.
In a sit-down interview with BBC’s Newsnight in 2019, Prince Andrew had already denied meeting Giuffre and claimed the photo of the two at Maxwell’s home might have been doctored.
The Duke of York is reportedly drawing funds for the new legal fight against Giuffre after he and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson sold their Swiss chalet last year for about $12 million, The Sun reported. The Queen also reportedly left Prince Andrew several million pounds in inheritance.