Prince Andrew could face lawsuit, says Epstein accuser’s lawyer
A lawyer representing an accuser of convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein who claims she was forced into a sexual encounter with the Duke of York has said a lawsuit may be brought against the royal.
David Boies has urged the duke to “just come clean”, echoing the words of his client Virginia Giuffre, who made a direct appeal to the Queen’s son earlier this week.
The lawyer told Sky News he has asked to interview Andrew and is willing to travel to London.
He said going through the courts could be one course of action.
Mr Boies said: “One of the options is to bring a lawsuit. I think we and other counsel in the US are exploring what the options and possibilities are – I hope we don’t have to go down that road but we’d be willing to consider it.”
Since Epstein’s death, there have been a number of reports about his relationship with the duke, including that the pair travelled together on the disgraced financier’s private jet with teenager Virginia Roberts, now known as Giuffre.
Mrs Giuffre has claimed in court papers in Florida that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17, under the state’s age of consent.
Her allegations, which Andrew denies, were struck from US civil court records in 2015 after a judge said they were “immaterial and impertinent”.
Buckingham Palace has branded the allegations “false and without any foundation” and “any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors” by the duke was “categorically untrue”.
Epstein was found dead on August 10 in his prison cell in New York, where he was being held on sex trafficking charges.
A picture from the early 2000s showing Andrew with his arm around Mrs Giuffre was highlighted by the lawyer, who said: “That has to have an explanation. He can’t say he didn’t know her.
“He can’t say he wasn’t friendly with her – I think it’s hard to look at that picture and say that you had no idea that she was young.”
The veracity of the photograph has been questioned in some reports, with Andrew defended by unnamed sources in the Evening Standard who cast doubt on whether the fingers in the image belonged to the royal.
The lawyer told Sky News: “I think it’s very hard to take the position that you were close and friendly and treating the mansion as your home away from home and yet you were totally unaware of what was going on there.”
Andrew issued a statement over the weekend, saying about Epstein: “At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.”