Jeffrey Epstein’s Confidante Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested
Amid his legal trouble, Prince Andrew has had his military affiliations and remaining Royal patronages stripped away by his mom, Queen Elizabeth II.
“With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen,” Buckingham Palace said in a statement on Jan. 13, per BBC. “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
Additionally, a royal source told NBC News that Prince Andrew “will no longer use the style ‘His Royal Highness’ in any official capacity.”
The announcement comes less than 24 hours after a judge denied the Duke of York’s motion to have a lawsuit brought against him by Virginia Giuffre dismissed.
In August 2021, Giuffre filed a lawsuit against the Duke of York at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. According to the documents obtained by E! News, she accused Prince Andrew of sexually abusing her on three separate occasions, claiming he knew that she was being trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and his associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, while she was under the age of 18.
Following a trial, in December 2021, a jury found Maxwell guilty of five of six counts of federal sex trafficking charges. She faces a sentence of up to 65 years in person. According to NBC News, during her trial, Maxwell’s lawyers argued that it was “Epstein who pulled the strings” and became the focus of federal prosecutors after Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in August 2019.
In the complaint Giuffre filed against Prince Andrew, it stated, “Twenty years ago, Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her. It is long past the time for him to be held to account.”
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Additionally, the lawsuit stated that the alleged sexual and physical abuse of Giuffre caused “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm.” Giuffre is seeking damages for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
E! News reached out to representatives of Prince Andrew at the time of filing for comment but did not hear back.
In a 2019 BBC interview, Prince Andrew denied Giuffre’s sexual assault allegations, saying that he “doesn’t remember meeting” her. Giuffre, who would have been 17 years old at the time, previously brought forth the allegations in court and documentaries.
Additionally, Prince Andrew also suggested that an alleged photo of himself with Giuffre might’ve been altered, as he has “absolutely no memory of that photograph ever being taken,” and denied being at the locations on the dates suggested by Giuffre. Following backlash over the interview, in 2019, the Duke of York announced he would step back from his public royal duties.
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