Prince Andrew’s lawyers have reportedly asked his accuser Virginia Roberts to provide the original version of the infamous photo allegedly showing the couple together at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home, amid claims it was fake.
According to the I newspaper, an American lawyer working for the Duke of York has arranged for a photographic expert to study the original if they can get access to it.
The report said Andrew Brettler, the Queen’s son’s lawyer working on the case, hopes an expert will question the photo’s authenticity.
Ms Roberts has previously spoken about the photo’s whereabouts, saying it could have been in moving boxes at her parents’ home in Sydney, Australia.
She claims the photo, which shows a smiling Prince Andrew with his arms around her waist and Maxwell standing behind the couple in the doorway, was taken on the same night the Duke allegedly raped her for the first time.
Prince Andrew and his legal team are battling a New York civil case filed by Ms Roberts last August in which she alleges that Andrew assaulted her three times.
He has vehemently denied the allegations since they were first made public.
Prince Andrew’s lawyers have reportedly asked his accuser Virginia Roberts to provide them with the original version of the infamous photo (pictured) purporting to show the couple together at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home, amid claims it was fake.
The Duke of York’s legal team has repeatedly tried to get the case dismissed before it goes to court, but so far without success.
Meanwhile, Andrew’s position in the British royal family had deteriorated. He retired from royal duties in 2019 and regained his patronage and military ranks earlier this year when it came to court.
The image, first released to the media in 2011, has become synonymous with the Duke, the allegations, his ongoing legal battle and questions about his relationship with the late pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
Ms. Roberts claims she was sold by Epstein and Maxwell. The latter faces up to 40 years in prison after she was convicted of a string of sex crimes in New York, although she has filed a request for a retrial.
The photo was reportedly taken in March 2001 at Maxwell’s London flat and has been reproduced countless times around the world after Ms Roberts, now known as Ms Giuffre after her marriage, shared it with The Mail on Sunday.
Since then, Andrew’s lawyers have sought access to the image, but they themselves have yet to provide any evidence that it is not genuine.
Pictured: Prince Andrew drives through Windsor, England with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson earlier this month.
Pictured: Virginia Roberts Giuffre speaks at a press conference outside the Manhattan Courthouse in New York on August 27, 2019.
However, earlier this month there was renewed interest in the theory when Lady Victoria Hervey, a British socialite and former girlfriend of Prince Andrew, sensationally repeated claims that the infamous photograph was indeed a fake.
The 44-year-old socialite and former “It Girl”, daughter of the 6th Marquess of Bristol, doubled down on a claim she made earlier by identifying a set of images she said were used to create a fake photo.
Harvey claimed that the image was pieced together from a photograph taken at Naomi Campbell’s birthday party aboard a yacht in Saint-Tropez in May 2001, showing Virginia wearing the same white tank top and brightly patterned jeans.
The logical explanation, of course, is that she was wearing the same outfit on both occasions.
What’s more, like Andrew’s lawyers, Harvey does not have a copy of the exact St. Tropez photograph she claims was used to fake Prince Andrew’s image, and it has never been released publicly. However, earlier this week she shared a whimsical hand-drawn reproduction of the alleged image on Instagram.
Lady Victoria added to her baffling claims by stating that an “Irish guy” who dated one of Epstein’s victims in 2001 and also attended a boat party was used as a “double” for Prince Andrew in a “fake” persona .
In an exclusive interview, Lady Victoria told FEMAIL that she spoke to several of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, who said they believed the image was edited by Virginia and Maria Farmer, another victim who worked as an “artist in residence” for Epstein.
Andrew’s lawyers are hoping that once they receive the original, the photo expert will be able to definitively say whether it’s real or not.
There are various control signs that allow you to establish the authenticity of a photograph.
Lady Victoria claimed that Virginia’s photo was taken at a birthday party. The image was never released publicly, but another Epstein victim allegedly drew an image of what the original photograph would have looked like (pictured)
The 44-year-old socialite and former “It Girl”, daughter of the 6th Marquess of Bristol, echoed the Duke’s claims in his disastrous Newsnight interview that the image may have been faked.
Prince Andrew opened up about his ties to Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis in November 2019.
News of Andrew’s court bid broke as his youngest daughter, Princess Eugenie, traveled to Los Angeles to see her cousin Prince Harry, where the couple watched the Super Bowl together on Sunday night (pictured)
According to an American scientist: “If the lines connecting the corresponding points of the scene and its reflection do not converge at a common intersection in the image plane, the image may be a fake.”
An easier way would be to find out if a photo has a Certificate of Authenticity (COA), which is sometimes printed with the photo.
Miss Giuffre has previously said she is not sure where the original photo is located. When she was ousted by Maxwell’s lawyers, she said “I don’t have one now,” according to the New Zealand Herald.
She said she suspects the photo is “probably in storage boxes of some sort” at her parents’ home in Sydney, Australia, who stayed there when she and her husband moved.
She also said that she had earlier handed over the photo to the FBI, which was investigating Maxwell and Epstein.
However, in January, the Daily Beast quoted “a source in Giuffre’s Virginia camp” as saying “they didn’t know if Giuffre had the original photo or if the original photo even existed.”
News of Andrew’s lawsuit broke as his youngest daughter, Princess Eugenie, traveled to Los Angeles to see her cousin Prince Harry, where the couple watched the Super Bowl together on Sunday night.
CHRONOLOGY OF A SAD PHOTO OF VIRGINIA JUFFRE AND PRINCE ANDREW
March 2001 – An infamous photograph of Virginia, Ghyslaine and Prince Andrew was reportedly taken at Ghyslaine’s home in London.
May 2001 – Naomi Campbell hosted a boat party on the French Riviera attended by Jeffrey Epstein, Virginia, Ghislaine Maxwell.
February 2011 – Virginia reaches out to Mail On Sunday as she lived a quiet life with her family on Australia’s Central Coast.
She was tracked down by journalist Sharon Churcher, who was investigating reports that the FBI planned to reopen its investigation into Epstein’s sexual exploitation of teenagers.
At first, she was reluctant to speak, not least because she harbored fears that Epstein might try to kill her.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday at the time, she presented a photo of Andrew from a white envelope containing a collection of photographs chronicling her adolescence and travels with Epstein to New Mexico and Paris.
She explained that the photo with Andrew was taken at Ms. Maxwell’s house after visiting the Tramp nightclub, a claim that Duke disputes.
She claimed the photo was taken in March 2001, two months before the boat party in Saint Tropez.
At the meeting, she told Churcher that she had sex with Andrew three times when she was a teenager, but for legal reasons, the Justice Department could not release her claims, which the Duke denies.
Photos published in Mail On Sunday.
November 2019 – Andrew hinted that the hand on her waist might not be his.
Prince Andrew told BBC Newsnight: “You can’t prove this photo is a fake because it’s a photo of a photo of a photo.”
“It’s very hard to prove, but I don’t remember this photo being taken…
“It’s me, but is it my hand… I just don’t remember the photo being taken.”
December 2019 – Virginia told BBC Panorama that the photo was genuine and that she turned the original over to the FBI in 2011.
February 2022 – Lady Victoria Hervey says Epstein’s victims told her the image was photoshopped by Virginia and Maria Farmer.