Andrew’s civil sex case ‘could spell constitutional crisis for monarchy’

A legal expert said the Duke of York’s sexual assault trial, proceeded by a US judge, threatened to create a “constitutional crisis” that would engulf the royal family.

Andrew now faces the prospect of his plaintiff, Virginia Giuffre, in court giving a detailed account of the allegation that he was trafficked to have sex with the Queen’s second son when she was 17. and was a minor under US law.

Judge Louise A. Kaplan rejected a motion by Duke’s lawyers to dismiss the civil case after she argued that Ms. Giuffre waived her right to pursue Duke by signing a confidential settlement with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. Had done it.


Virginia Giuffre accuses Duke of sexual assault (Crime + Investigation / PA)

The decision would be a major setback for Andrew, and media lawyer Mark Stephens said it would prompt meetings of senior royals as they attempt to deal with the prestigious damage the monarch has suffered during the Queen’s platinum jubilee year.

Mr Stephens told the BBC: “Judge Louise Kaplan has thrown a rational judicial decision like a bomb into the heart and heart of the royal family and has threatened to provoke a constitutional crisis as a result.”

He added that the Duke has “no good choice”, adding: “Essentially, I think they will either have to go through the testing process or they will have to compromise and that is their least and worst option.” Maybe.”

Sigrid McCauley, managing partner at the law firm Boise Schiller Flexner, said the decision was a turning point for her client, Ms. Giuffre.

She said: “Today’s decision by Judge Kaplan to quash Prince Andrew’s attempt to quash the case of Virginia Giuffre as a heroic and sex trafficking survivor of Virginia is another significant step in his steadfast pursuit of justice.”


The Duke of York resigned from public life following the collapse of his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein (PA).

Andrew’s accuser is suing her for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

She is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the amount could run into the millions of dollars.

Duke has vehemently denied the allegations and his legal team has argued from the first trial that the case is “baseless”.

Mr Stephens said: “Prince Andrew has nowhere to go. He is effectively a dead man as far as the Royal Family is concerned.

“But the one thing he can do is accept responsibility, accept blame, accept that he has to fall on his sword for the sake of the wider royal family.”


Andrew has strongly denied the allegations leveled against him by Ms Giuffre. Neil Hall / PA

Andrew has three main options – to ignore the lawsuit, which is his right, engage with the US legal system to defend himself against the charges, or try to settle out of court with Ms. Giuffre.

A default judgment will be made in Ms. Giuffre’s favor if he ignores the civil proceedings.

His accuser may not agree to a settlement rather he has his day in court, but if a settlement is reached it can be viewed adversely by the public.

Looking into the wings is the criminal arm of the US justice system and if the Duke gives evidence any new details are likely to be taken into account, such as a BBC Newsnight interview that attempted to draw a line under the events but Ms Giuffre’s legal team. Provided a lot of information.

Ms Giuffre’s lawyer David Bois was asked on Sky News what her client wants: “I think she wants to get justice and I think there are many aspects to justice.”


Ms Giuffre welcomes the latest development in her lawsuit against Andrew (BBC Panorama)

He highlighted the infamous photo showing Andrew with his arm around Ms. Giuffre: “First of all, I think it’s a judicial determination as to who is telling the truth. I think this picture is, as it were. We have claimed, is a real picture or is it in some way a concoction as suggested by some of Prince Andrew’s people.

“I think it’s a recognition on the part of Prince Andrew for his conduct and I think Virginia has been compensated for what happened.”

Public relations and crisis consultant Mark Borkowski criticized Duke’s handling of the lawsuit: “In terms of PR it is the equivalent of a comedy clown driving a car with a lit cigarette at a fireworks factory.”

He suggested that the Duke’s desire to return to the front lines of the royal family was harming the royal family, by trying to end the civil case against him.

Mr Borkowski said: “The bottom line is that he wants to go back so it will be him pushing and pushing and trying to get back into public life and it will hurt the royal family who are trying to move on.” “

Mr Borkowski said the only option for the duke was to withdraw from public life altogether and reconsider his role or defend himself against civil action in court.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman asked of the development, “We would not comment on what the ongoing legal case entails.”