Can Prince Andrew ever restore his fame?

Can Prince Andrew ever restore his fame?

Prince Andrew

In years passed by, the Duke of York’s birthday could be trigger for main Royal household celebration.

When he turned 40 in 2000, a joint get together was held at Windsor Citadel to mark the milestone together with the late Queen Mom’s one hundredth, Princess Margaret’s seventieth, Princess Anne’s fiftieth, and Prince William’s 18th.

The lavish bash within the ornate Nineteenth-century State Flats started with a luxurious sit-down dinner for round 80 pals and royalty from Spain, Belgium and Norway in addition to King Constantine of Greece.

The dinner friends had been later joined by about 700 others for drinks together with Sarah, Duchess of York – the primary time for the reason that 1997 funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, that the Duke’s ex-wife had been included on the royal visitor record.

But the night’s leisure has since turn into moderately extra notable for the inclusion of two different folks on the illustrious record of attendees: Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

As he prepares to show 63 on Feb 19, Andrew is prone to look again on that spectacular turn-of-the-century soiree with greater than a touch of remorse.

For in selecting to ask a pair who would go on to turn into two of probably the most high-profile intercourse traffickers of the twenty first century, the late Queen’s second son set in prepare a sequence of occasions that led to his personal downfall.

Only a 12 months after the Duke blew out the candles on his fortieth birthday cake, one in all their victims, Virginia Giuffre, claims she was pressured to have intercourse with the Duke on Epstein’s personal island within the US Virgin Islands, at his New York mansion and at Ms Maxwell’s Belgravia mews home when she was 17. Whereas in London, she claims Andrew licked her toes within the tub after which had intercourse along with her in a bed room. He has at all times vehemently denied the allegations.

It’s understood the Duke reached a £9.7 million out-of-court settlement with Ms Giuffre, now 39 and a mom of three, final February. However virtually precisely a 12 months later, the stench across the sordid saga nonetheless lingers.

‘Within the courtroom of public opinion, his identify stays sullied’

Regardless of Andrew having by no means been convicted of any crime, his fame stays in tatters over his affiliation with the now-deceased billionaire paedophile financier and his jailbird associate in crime.

But the emergence of a weird {photograph}, purporting to “clear” the Duke of “tub intercourse” with Ms Giuffre, has not solely projected the controversial case again onto the entrance pages however raised the spectre of the grandfather of two making an attempt some kind of comeback following his mom’s dying in September.

Depicting two of Ms Maxwell’s acquaintances sitting within the tub, absolutely clothed, posing as Andrew and Ms Giuffre in makeshift masks, the image was equipped by her brother Ian Maxwell to indicate “conclusively that the tub is just too small for any kind of intercourse frolicking”.

Mixed with Ms Maxwell giving an interview from her Florida jail cell in January, through which she claimed that one other {photograph}, displaying her royal pal together with his arm round Ms Giuffre in her London residence in 2001, is a pretend, the newest picture has fuelled recommendations that the Duke is planning to attempt to overturn the out-of-court settlement.

But is there actually any hope of Andrew getting his a refund? And even when he did, wouldn’t it be sufficient to herald a return to public life? Group York actually likes to assume so.

Confirming that they’re pursuing a variety of authorized choices, a pal instructed The Each day Telegraph: “When the Duke settled with Ms Giuffre, what’s completely vital to know is that he did so to guard his late mom’s Platinum Jubilee and to guard Her Majesty. When officers at Buckingham Palace proposed this method, he readily agreed for that purpose – and that purpose alone.

“He settled with out admitting any guilt and has at all times resolutely insisted that he has been falsely accused. He’s been completely constant about that for greater than a decade.

“However when he settled, it didn’t clear his identify. So there’s a authorized decision, however this was at all times a three-stage course of: authorized decision, adopted by clearing his identify, adopted by no matter it’s he needs to do subsequent.

“You’ll be able to’t count on the Duke to reside completely on this no man’s land with a authorized decision of a civil case, no investigation by any authorized authority, not to mention any costs. He’s not been discovered responsible of something in a courtroom of regulation, but within the courtroom of public opinion, his identify stays sullied as a result of folks assume there isn’t any smoke with out hearth.

“This isn’t about sufferer shaming, however there are a selection of essential issues that Ms Giuffre – who stays his sole accuser – has mentioned which merely don’t stack up. It’s solely a half-written story.

“The Duke and his group consider he’s accomplished nothing mistaken however the remainder of the world doesn’t consider it and that’s what must be addressed subsequent.”

‘We solely ever hear one facet of the story’

Andrew’s close-knit UK authorized group at the moment contains his solicitor Gary Bloxsome, nicknamed “Good Information Gary” for his constructive outlook, and his barrister Clare Montgomery, who shot to fame in 1999 when she battled to avoid wasting Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from extradition after he was accused of a number of allegations of human rights abuses. They’re being assisted within the US by Hollywood lawyer Andrew Brettler and his “rottweiler” associate Blair Berk, whose movie star purchasers have included Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp and Channing Tatum. The Duke can be regarded as receiving PR recommendation from Mark Gallagher, ITV’s former director of company affairs, in addition to receiving “common psychological assist” from a psychological well being skilled.

One key avenue of inquiry is Ms Giuffre’s just lately settled defamation case towards Alan Dershowitz, Epstein’s former lawyer. Final November, she dropped her lawsuit and the allegation that the Harvard Legislation College professor was among the many males Epstein pressured her to have intercourse with.

Ms Giuffre’s 2019 lawsuit accused Mr Dershowitz of defaming her when he denied her declare. Mr Dershowitz had countersued Ms Giuffre. In a doc filed in federal courtroom in Manhattan, each events mentioned they might agree to not sue once more and waived their rights to enchantment.

In a subsequent assertion, Ms Giuffre mentioned that she lengthy believed she had been trafficked by Epstein to Mr Dershowitz, however that she was very younger on the time and had been in a aggravating and traumatic atmosphere.

“I now recognise I’ll have made a mistake in figuring out Mr Dershowitz,” she admitted.

Mr Dershowitz, 84, who represented Donald Trump in his first impeachment trial and was a part of OJ Simpson’s defence group in his 1995 homicide trial, was Mr Epstein’s lawyer when he was accused of underage intercourse in Florida in 2008. He helped to safe a lenient deal that noticed him serve simply 13 months in a county jail with a six-day-a-week work launch. Mr Epstein was subsequently arrested in July 2019 and charged with federal intercourse trafficking costs associated to his abuse of underage women at properties in Florida, the Caribbean, New York and New Mexico, over a number of a long time. He was discovered lifeless in his cell on the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan simply over a month later, whereas awaiting trial.

Chatting with The Telegraph this week, Mr Dershowitz mentioned he would increase no objection to the courtroom papers in his case towards Ms Giuffre being “unsealed” saying they had been “within the public curiosity”.

Having already publicly urged Andrew to attempt to overturn the settlement, saying he believed it was a “mistake” not to take the case to trial, he mentioned: “Any journalist can go into the courtroom and make a request for the unsealing of all paperwork now that the case is over. I’ve received nothing to cover and have by no means had any opposition to unsealing the paperwork – they’re within the public curiosity. So I waive any proper to privateness.”

The Duke’s group might use the case to indicate that Ms Giuffre might have fashioned “false recollections” as a result of struggling she endured each in childhood and by the hands of Epstein. Because the pal added: “Ms Giuffre has admitted after the settling with Alan Dershowitz that due to the trauma of her formative years, the accuracy of her recollections are at finest patchy. There’s completely no criticism of her – what she went by way of is nothing in need of heartbreaking. Nevertheless it’s a proven fact that she herself has admitted – that the trauma of that point might have badly affected her reminiscence.”

The identical maxim seems to use to the “bath sex” photograph. As Ms Giuffre’s lawyer Lisa Bloom identified, the mocked-up, face-masked image “proves nothing … Virginia mentioned that she and Andrew had been within the tub. The photograph reveals that two full-sized people can match within the tub.” But it does counsel that Ms Giuffre’s recollection of that loo was huge of the mark.

As Mr Maxwell put it in an interview final month: “What it does show is the reverse of what Ms Giuffre mentioned in her unpublished memoir, which is a courtroom doc and was launched by the US courtroom, through which she says that the toilet had a beige marble flooring and there was a Victorian tub within the centre of the room.

“There isn’t any Victorian tub, there isn’t any tub within the centre of any room. And for her to say that there’s [is] simply mistaken. Her reminiscence is mistaken, or it by no means occurred.

“[The photograph] is designed to say, ‘Wait a minute. This woman has been believed, virtually with none compunction by all people.’

“I believe that the opposite facet of the story must be checked out by the media correctly; the allegations should be investigated totally. We solely ever hear one facet of the story.”

There’s additionally hope that any unsealing of courtroom papers within the Dershowitz case might clear up an ongoing confusion over Ms Giuffre’s place of residence.

Mr Brettler initially tried to halt the US civil case towards the Duke by claiming that the federal courtroom in New York didn’t have jurisdiction over the matter as a result of Ms Giuffre is domiciled in Australia, not Colorado as she alleged.

Arguing the case ought to be halted till the “concern of material jurisdiction is adjudicated”, he wrote to the courtroom in December 2021: “In her criticism Ms Giuffre alleges she is a citizen of the state of Colorado; the proof demonstrates that she is definitely domiciled in Australia, the place she has lived for all however two of the previous 19 years.

“It’s undisputed that on the time she filed this motion Ms Giuffre had an Australian driver’s licence and was residing in a $A1.9 million [about £1.1 million] residence in Perth, Western Australia, the place she and her husband have been elevating their three youngsters.

“In actuality, Ms Giuffre’s ties to Colorado are very restricted. She has not lived there since at the very least 2019 – roughly two years earlier than she filed this lawsuit towards Prince Andrew – and doubtlessly, in keeping with her personal deposition testimony, not since October 2015.”

Ms Brettler mentioned Ms Giuffre solely just lately registered to vote in Colorado utilizing her mom and stepfather’s mailing handle there.

But the courtroom rejected this argument, together with Mr Brettler’s plea for the case to be thrown out as a result of Ms Giuffre had a “tortured interpretation” of the regulation she was counting on. He mentioned a number of the alleged offences had been mentioned to have occurred exterior New York state and past the jurisdiction of the New York Youngster Victims Act (CVA) that she was utilizing.

The CVA created a 12-month window for people to file civil lawsuits looking for compensation for alleged sexual abuse after they had been youngsters. The deadline was later prolonged by one 12 months due to the pandemic.

‘He’s not hiding himself away, that’s for positive’

The difficulty of jurisdiction would look like a extra dependable space of investigation than the Duke’s declare that the 2001 {photograph} of him together with his arm round a then 17-year-old Ms Giuffre might have been tampered with. Throughout his car-crash Newsnight interview in November 2019, he mentioned: “No person can show whether or not or not that {photograph} has been doctored however I don’t recollect that {photograph} ever being taken.”

He added: “From the investigations we’ve accomplished, you’ll be able to’t show whether or not or not that {photograph} is faked or not as a result of it’s a {photograph} of {a photograph}.”

Woman Victoria Hervey, his former girlfriend, final month prompt an “Irish physique double” might have been used.

Throughout her latest jail interview, Ms Maxwell admitted that the environment within the picture, through which she seems within the background, regarded “acquainted”, but additionally mentioned that “we will’t actually set up the {photograph} and all that”, including: “I don’t know if that’s true, if that’s an actual image or not.”

The snap, thought to have been taken by Epstein on a disposable Kodak digital camera on March 10 2001, has dogged Andrew because it was first revealed by Mail on Sunday 12 years in the past.

The authenticity of this photograph of Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell was called into question - HANDOUT/US District Court - Southern Dis/AFP via Getty Image

The authenticity of this {photograph} of Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell was referred to as into query – HANDOUT/US District Court docket – Southern Dis/AFP through Getty Picture

Final week, the newspaper sought to show the image hadn’t been faked by interviewing skilled photographer Michael Thomas, who took 39 copies of the picture, each back and front, for the unique interview.

The pictures of the unique picture present it was developed at a one-hour photograph lab and would have been virtually impossible to doctor. The phrases “000 #15 13March01 Walgreens One Hour Picture” are clearly seen on the again of the unique.

“I used to be holding the unique photograph in my hand. It was a standard 6×4 inch print that you’d have gotten from any developer on the time,” mentioned Mr Thomas.

“It regarded prefer it was 10 years previous. It wasn’t crisp as a result of it had been developed in 2001. She had held on to it for 10 years by the point I noticed it.

“For Ghislaine Maxwell to return out and say it was pretend is ridiculous. I held the photograph. It was a standard {photograph}. It was a bodily print. It exists. I noticed it and that’s what I photographed and that’s what you see now.”

The Duke’s group has lengthy demanded that Ms Giuffre produce the unique, however she claims to have given it to the FBI. Mail on Sunday claims to have witnessed her handing over a variety of pictures to 2 brokers on the US Consulate in Sydney – however it’s unclear whether or not she received the unique again or what its whereabouts are actually.

We’re prone to hear extra of her facet of the story as soon as a gagging clause lifts, though it’s unknown whether or not she is going to be capable to converse instantly in regards to the Andrew declare following the settlement.

Andrew didn’t admit any guilt when settling the civil declare a 12 months in the past and allies insist he agreed to pay his accuser underneath stress from Sir Edward Younger, his late mom’s personal secretary, Sir Clive Alderton, the King’s longstanding personal secretary, and Sir Michael Stevens, the Keeper of the Privy Purse or monarch’s accountant.

But the dying of the late Queen, which noticed her “favorite” son return to the royal fray for the state funeral, seems to have revived his quest to clear his identify – regardless of the Buckingham Palace powers that be reportedly concerning it as “wishful pondering”.

The late Queen not solely believed her son’s protestations of innocence, however in keeping with latest reviews, additionally thought he might return to public life if he devoted himself to charity work. Believing he may be capable to pursue a “Profumo-style” path to redemption, a supply mentioned his household agreed that following the route of the disgraced minister John Profumo, who devoted himself to charity work after being pressured to step down from authorities within the Nineteen Sixties over his affair with Christine Keeler, was his solely hope of rehabilitation. That maybe explains why – regardless of discuss of tensions together with his brother, the King – Andrew was invited to spend Christmas at Sandringham with the household.

Since then, the Duke had been mendacity low at Royal Lodge, the Windsor home he shares with his ex-wife.

However in keeping with one onlooker, he has just lately turn into “rather more seen”, often strolling the late Queen’s canine, which he inherited, at Frogmore and using in Windsor Nice Park. “He’s not hiding himself away, that’s for positive,” added the onlooker.

It seems that removed from admitting defeat, the grand previous Duke of York is getting ready to march his males to the highest of the hill once more.

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