Many of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims were found guilty of guilty against his assistant Ghislaine Maxwell. But others warn that the judiciary should not leave it at that. The eyes are now more than ever on a son of the Queen.
New York / London – How the new year can go for Prince Andrew is decided right at the beginning. On January 4th, his attorneys in New York want to present why the court should drop the American Virginia Giuffre’s claim for damages against the Queen’s second eldest son.
It’s about forced sex and the abuse scandal involving US entrepreneur Jeffrey Epstein. Even if Andrew strictly rejects the allegations, the case has already damaged his reputation enormously. Royals experts in London see the 61-year-old as a loser, even if he should win in court.
Prince Andrew must tremble
“Unfortunately for Andrew it is no longer so much about evidence and evidence or what, if anything, happened to Virginia Giuffre,” the British newspaper “Daily Mail” quoted an unnamed royal observer as saying. “It’s all about public perception.” Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents several Epstein victims, told the paper: “Prince Andrew should tremble in his royal boots.”
In fact, it does not look good for Andrew: Because his former friendship with the now deceased Epstein and his ex-partner Ghislaine Maxwell, who was found guilty of trafficking in children for abuse purposes on Wednesday, is known. Andrew’s position has deteriorated further because of the Maxwell case and his chances are bad, commented the newspaper “The Times”.
“Anyone connected to Jeffrey Epstein who participated in the sexual abuse or helped him by sending him girls (…) should be very concerned about this ruling,” said lawyer Bloom. Andrew would certainly not appear in person, but a trial could begin in New York in the fall of 2022 if Judge Lewis Kaplan does not stop the process.
That is exactly the goal of Andrew’s lawyers. With two applications they question the jurisdiction of the court. Plaintiff Giuffre does not live in the US state of Colorado as stated, they emphasize, but lives in Australia. In addition, the alleged acts did not take place in New York. After all, Giuffre’s allegations were based solely on her unconfirmed and unverifiable allegation. From their point of view, word stands against word. Ghislaine Maxwell was silent during the trial and could therefore not be asked about Andrew. However, the British media are now speculating that they could still unpack in order to obtain a milder prison sentence.
It was also astonishing that the Andrew case played almost no role in the Maxwell case. Virgina Giuffre was not called as a witness by the prosecution without the public prosecutor’s office giving a reason. Maxwell’s lawyer, Laura Meninger, claims the cause was doubts about Giuffre’s credibility. “So it should be proven that she was a victim, but without her coming on the stand and testifying,” said Meninger.
But the case is emotionally charged. Giuffre’s lawyers shoot back with very intimate questions. Andrew should provide evidence for his claim that he can’t sweat at all, they now demanded. The background is Giuffres statement that she met Andrew in 2001 as a 17-year-old in a London celebrity club. He sweated profusely. Later, Epstein and Maxwell would have forced her to have sex with the prince. Andrew told the BBC in 2019 that after overdosing on adrenaline under fire in the 1982 Falklands War, he was unable to sweat.
With its guilty verdict against the Epstein confidante Maxwell, who wants to contest the decision, a US jury decided again primarily on the basis of statements by female victims and not on the basis of clear factual evidence – as in the trial against former film mogul Harvey Weinstein last year Year.
Prinz Andrews fatales BBC-Interview
This is not good news for Andrew, who has appeared in a bad light since the allegations became known. In the interview with the BBC in mid-November 2019, which was intended as a liberation, the Queen’s son talked about head and neck. Since then he has let his royal duties rest. When Giuffre’s lawyers wanted to serve the lawsuit in autumn 2021, Andrew hid longer in his mother’s Scottish residence, Balmoral Castle, so that he would not have to accept the court documents. Now technical subtleties should save him.
But Andrew is likely to have lost the battle for public awareness. In addition to his stupid demeanor, this is ensured by a famous photo. On it: Andrew, his arm around the waist of young Virginia Giuffre, then Virginia Roberts. Next to it, also smiling at the camera, Ghislaine Maxwell.
The trial threatens to overshadow Queen Elizabeth II’s anniversary year on the 70th anniversary of her accession to the throne. The Queen is the only one in the Royal Family who stands by Andrew, according to British media. The middle son has always been her favorite. dpa