Royal experts say Duke of York's reputation 'can't be rebuilt'

Royal experts say Duke of York’s reputation ‘can’t be rebuilt’

Royal experts have insisted the Duke of York’s reputation can’t be rebuilt- despite settling the sexual abuse lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre after he agreed an undisclosed deal with his accuser without admitting her accusations. 

Court documents filed in New York this morning revealed Prince Andrew and Mrs Giuffre, who was previously known as Virginia Roberts, have reached a ‘settlement in principle’ in the civil sex claim.

However, while this has ‘lifted a shadow from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee’ and will leave the Royal Family ‘tremendously relieved’, it will not mean a ‘return to the fold’ for Andrew, royal commentators claim.

Royal expert Robert Jobson told FEMAIL: ‘The fact that there’s been a settlement doesn’t necessarily mean that [Andrew’s] reputation is rebuilt.

Elsewhere, Editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine Ingrid Seward added: ‘The best thing he can do is disappear for a year. He must keep a very low profile, which I am sure Prince Charles will insist upon.’  

A senior palace source told MailOnline today that the compensation figure is believed to be around $10million (£7.5million) – and the deal might only be a ‘settlement in principle’ at the moment because the sale of Andrew’s Swiss chalet has not yet gone through. 

The source said the settlement will then likely be made when the property sale is completed – adding that he would expect Andrew to be at the Westminster Abbey service to remember the late Prince Philip on March 29. 

Mrs Giuffre sued the Duke last August, alleging he sexually abused her more than two decades ago when she was 17, a minor under US law, while the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was trafficking her. 

Royal experts have insisted the Duke of York's (pictured) reputation can't be rebuilt- despite settling the sexual abuse lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre after he agreed an undisclosed deal with his accuser without admitting her accusations

Royal experts have insisted the Duke of York’s (pictured) reputation can’t be rebuilt- despite settling the sexual abuse lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre after he agreed an undisclosed deal with his accuser without admitting her accusations

While this has 'lifted a shadow from the Queen's (pictured) Platinum Jubilee' and will leave the Royal Family 'tremendously relieved', according to commentators, it will not mean a 'return to the fold' for Andrew

While this has ‘lifted a shadow from the Queen’s (pictured) Platinum Jubilee’ and will leave the Royal Family ‘tremendously relieved’, according to commentators, it will not mean a ‘return to the fold’ for Andrew

Court documents filed in New York this morning revealed Prince Andrew and Mrs Giuffre (pictured), who was previously known as Virginia Roberts, have reached a 'settlement in principle' in the civil sex claim

Court documents filed in New York this morning revealed Prince Andrew and Mrs Giuffre (pictured), who was previously known as Virginia Roberts, have reached a ‘settlement in principle’ in the civil sex claim

Speaking to FEMAIL about the settlement, royal expert Robert Jobson said: ‘I think it was inevitable. I think it’s the only thing that could possibly allow [Andrew] to come out of this with some degree of dignity.

‘It would have been hugely embarrassing no matter what happened and I think that for the sake of the monarchy as well as his owner personal reputation he had little choice but to settle.’

Full statement from both parties in Andrew’s case 

Here is the full text of the statement regarding the out of court settlement reached between the Duke of York and Virginia Giuffre. The statement was included in a letter submitted to US judge Lewis A Kaplan:

‘Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew have reached an out of court settlement. The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms Giuffre’s receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed). Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights.

‘Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks. It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years.

‘Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others. He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.’ 

Last month Andrew was stripped of his honorary military titles and charitable roles after New York Judge Lewis Kaplan denied his plea to dismiss Mrs Giuffre’s case. 

When asked if the tentative settlement paves the way for Andrew’s return to public duties, Mr Jobson said: ‘I don’t think in any way this leads the way back to public duty.

‘I’m sure he’ll be at the service of thanksgiving for his father, but I really do not see him coming back into a public role going forward.

‘Number one, simply because I think the long term future of the monarchy doesn’t involve lots of extended members of the family and in Prince Charles’ reign I would have thought that they would be reduced anyway, naturally.

‘But equally there’s too much water under the bridge here in terms of his associations with Epstein, his association with Maxwell and his lack of judgement that has been called into question. 

‘The fact that there’s been a settlement doesn’t necessarily mean that his reputation is rebuilt.’

‘Amongst the family, I’m sure that they would want this to go away,’ he added. ‘It’s been hugely embarrassing at the very beginning. But this is a lot more than just embarrassment. 

‘This is very serious legal issues, and questions of his judgement have all been brought into play, so, no, I don’t think there’s any way back for him. 

‘I think really, what he needs to probably do is to just keep a low profile for a while, and then gradually – like John Profumo did in the 60s after the Profumo affair – in the background carry out charity work and private work, but I don’t think there’s a way back in terms of a public role as he had before.’

Elsewhere, Editor-in-chief of Majesty Magazine Ingrid Seward told FEMAIL: ‘I would doubt if the Duke of York will return to royal duties as much as he might like to.

‘I think he will however be happy to be present at his father’s memorial as an innocent man. He made no admission of guilt and no apology.

‘The best thing he can do is disappear for a year. I would hate to see him popping up doing TV interviews and good works. He must keep a very low profile, which I am sure Prince Charles will insist upon.’

Meanwhile, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said the news would come as an ‘enormous relief to the Royal Family.’

Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts stand together with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background in London on March 13, 2001

Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts stand together with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background in London on March 13, 2001

Prince Andrew is pictured driving in Windsor on November 6 last year

Prince Andrew is pictured driving in Windsor on November 6 last year

Virginia Giuffre, who used to be known as Virginia Roberts, is pictured in Perth, Australia, last week on February 8

Virginia Giuffre, who used to be known as Virginia Roberts, is pictured in Perth, Australia, last week on February 8

He added: ‘The royal family will be tremendously relieved. It lifts a shadow from the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and that is very significant.

Andrew’s civil case: What was alleged and what has been agreed? 

The Duke of York and Virginia Giuffre have reached an out-of-court settlement in the civil case filed in the US. Here is what was alleged against Andrew and what has happened up until this point:

– Who is Virginia Giuffre?  Virginia Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, alleges she was trafficked by disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to be molested by financier Jeffrey Epstein and his friends.

– What case did Andrew face?  Mrs Giuffre brought a case of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress against the duke. It was claimed she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Epstein and others to Andrew, who is alleged to have sexually abused her when she was under the age of 18.

– How many allegations did the duke face? Court documents have referenced three separate occasions in which Mrs Giuffre accuses him of sexual misconduct.

– Where is the alleged sexual abuse said to have taken place?  Mrs Giuffre claimed Andrew had sex with her against her will at Maxwell’s London home. She also alleged the royal forced her to engage in sex acts against her will at Epstein’s mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The duke is also alleged to have sexually abused Mrs Giuffre on another occasion during a visit to Epstein’s private island, Little St James.

– What reasons has Andrew previously given for the case against him to be dismissed?  In January, the duke submitted 11 reasons why the case should be dismissed, including that Mrs Giuffre’s claims are ‘barred by the doctrine of consent’ and by ‘her own wrongful conduct’.

– Will Andrew have to face a civil trial?  Now the case has settled out of court, the duke will not have to face a trial.

– What happens now a settlement has been reached?  The parties have said they will file a ‘stipulation of dismissal’ within 30 days, meaning they will file a notice to discontinue the case now it has been settled. Before the stipulation is filed, the parties have asked for all deadlines and court action to be suspended.

– What do we know about the details of the agreement reached between Andrew and Mrs Giuffre?  The sum of the settlement has not been disclosed but the duke will make a ‘substantial donation’ to Mrs Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights. He has also pledged to ‘demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein’ by supporting the ‘fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.’

– Will the substantial charity donation be made from Andrew’s own private money?  Representatives of the duke declined to comment on the source of funds for the donation.

– What have both sides said about the settlement?Andrew’s representatives said they would not be commenting further than what was said in the court documents. David Boies, the lawyer acting on behalf of Mrs Giuffre, said: ‘I believe this event speaks for itself.’

‘It was always not going to go to trial… He was going to be cross examined by the legal teams, which putting it mildly is something he would not have looked forward to and found very difficult. 

‘I see the next step for Prince Andrew – if he wants to have a public role of some sort at any time, I don’t see it but he probably does – the next step is to speak with the FBI.’

Nigel Cawthorne, author of Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace, insisted a ‘comeback for the prince remains impossible’.

‘There are still legal clouds gathering over his head,’ said the royal expert. ‘There is a US warrant for him as a material witness and he cannot visit the US without facing arrest. 

‘There is also his role in the perjury trial slated for June against Maxwell.

‘But most of all he continued his friendship with two underage-sex traffickers even after allegations were made against these friends.

‘It is impossible to see how he can ever return to public duty without those serious errors of judgement following him for the rest of his public life.’

Crisis communications expert Andy Barr, meanwhile, said: ‘I think we can safely say that Prince Andrew is forever destined for a life in the background. 

‘His image is in tatters and, unless there is a seismic turn of events, there is no way back into the public eye for him.’

Prince Andrew said in his statement today that he ‘regrets his association with Epstein’ and pledged to demonstrate this ‘by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims’. 

An attachment to the letter announcing the settlement to the public and the United States District Court gave brief details of the agreement between Andrew and Mrs Giuffre but indicated the sum would not be disclosed. 

Attorney David Boies, who represents Mrs Giuffre, said in a filing that lawyers on both sides were telling the judge that a settlement in principle has been reached and they will request a dismissal of the lawsuit within a month.

The settlement means the civil case will not go to a jury trial, and also that Andrew will no longer be questioned under oath by Mrs Giuffre’s lawyers – something that had been expected to take place in the coming weeks. 

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the development today, which comes ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer in May and June as well as a Westminster Abbey service to remember the late Prince Philip next month.

Royal sources told ITV News that the case was a matter for the Duke and his legal team.

But the news will no doubt have come as a relief to the Queen and other royal officials – and will also spare Andrew from a potentially embarrassing series of disclosures and accusations in the months ahead of and during a trial.

Royal author Penny Junor said the settlement is likely to come as a ‘huge relief’ to the rest of the Royal Family because a trial ‘could have been very, very nasty’ and ‘humiliating’. 

She added: ‘It could have really taken the shine off the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.’ 

Ms Junor also said there had been a ‘complete change of tone’ on Andrew’s words on his links to Epstein, adding: ‘At last, he’s expressing some regret and some empathy for those girls.’ 

Ms Junor said the Duke’s notorious BBC Newsnight interview in 2019 had been ‘all about him’ but that Andrew has ‘got it right now’. 

Ms Junor added: ‘He’s got it right now, it took him a long time to get there but I think he’s got it right.’ Asked if there is a way back to public royal life for Andrew, Ms Junor said: ‘I think it’s very, very unlikely.’ 

Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents eight Epstein victims, said the news was a ‘victory’ for Mrs Giuffre, tweeting on behalf of the eight: ‘We hail Virginia’s victory today. She has accomplished what no one else could: getting Prince Andrew to stop his nonsense and side with sexual abuse victims. We salute Virginia’s stunning courage.’

And Sigrid McCawley, one of Ms Giuffre’s lawyers, said: ‘As a managing partner at a firm that has from its beginning acted upon the belief that the law should be marshalled to bring justice to the most vulnerable, I can say, without hesitation, that our representation of survivors upholds that tradition. I am very pleased with the resolution of Virginia Giuffre’s litigation against Prince Andrew.’ 

A joint statement issued today by Virginia Giuffre¿s lawyer, David Boies, and Prince Andrew¿s lawyer, Andrew Brettler

A joint statement issued today by Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, and Prince Andrew’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler

A letter addressed to US judge Lewis A Kaplan, who has been overseeing the case, from David Boies, Virginia Giuffre's lawyer

A letter addressed to US judge Lewis A Kaplan, who has been overseeing the case, from David Boies, Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer

How Duke of York went from Falklands hero to being stripped of his honorary military titles

Prince Andrew had been due to face a jury trial in the US following accusations of sexual assault by Virginia Giuffre, until their lawyers reached an agreement ‘in principle’ on Tuesday.

But how did the claim come about, and what has Andrew been known for in the past?

During his life, the ‘Playboy Prince’ earned high regard for his bravery during the Falklands War and served as a trade envoy, but he is best known as the man whose reputation was left in tatters amid the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal.

As a young man, he was one of the world’s most eligible bachelors and earned himself the nickname ‘Randy Andy’ after being linked to a string of beautiful women.

But later in life his connections with controversial foreign figures raised concerns and he was dubbed ‘Air Miles Andy’ after being criticised for his globe-trotting, especially helicopter trips to pursue his passion for golf.

At 22, Andrew saw active service in the Royal Navy as a Sea King helicopter pilot in the Falklands War.

His service included flying his aircraft as a decoy target, trying to divert deadly Exocet missiles away from British ships.

He later married and divorced the bubbly, flame-haired Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson.

When a bachelor for a second time, Andrew again made headlines, having been spotted cavorting with topless women on holiday in Thailand, and attending a ‘hookers and pimps’ party with Robert Maxwell’s daughter, Ghislaine Maxwell, in the US.

After serving for 22 years in the Royal Navy, the duke became the UK’s special representative for international trade and investment, but his 10 years in the role generated a great deal of controversy.

As a roving ambassador, one of his first tasks was a post-September 11 trip to New York, but he was criticised for attending a party during his stay.

Andrew has faced questions over his connections to politicians in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Libya and Turkmenistan.

His judgment was questioned after he held meetings with Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s son Saif, and when he entertained the son-in-law of Tunisia’s ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali at Buckingham Palace.

His relations with Timur Kulibayev, son-in-law of the then-president of Kazakhstan, were also scrutinised after Mr Kulibayev purchased the duke’s Sunninghill Park home for £3 million more than its £12 million asking price in 2007.

Simon Wilson, Britain’s deputy head of mission in Bahrain from 2001 to 2005, wrote in the Daily Mail that the duke was ‘more commonly known among the British diplomatic community in the Gulf as HBH: His Buffoon Highness’.

In 2011, it emerged that Andrew was friends with American financier Epstein, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2008 for soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Photos surfaced of him with his arm around Virginia Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, who claimed that Epstein employed her as a masseuse but exploited her while a teenage minor.

The duke was also pictured walking in New York’s Central Park with Epstein in December 2010, a year after Epstein’s release from prison, and this led him to quit his role as a trade envoy.

In 2013, Andrew was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, but Britain’s pre-eminent scientific institution faced unprecedented dissent from members over the move, with one professor describing the duke as an ‘unsavoury character’.

Tech-savvy Andrew, who was the first member of the royal family to have an official Twitter account under his own name, focused on his [email protected] work, bringing together industry experts with young entrepreneurs and technology start-ups.

Then in 2015, while enjoying a New Year skiing holiday with his family, he was named in US court documents as having had sex a number of times with a teenage girl, a minor under US law.

The woman alleged she was ‘procured’ for the duke by Epstein, whom she accused of using her as a ‘sex slave’.

She was identified in reports as Giuffre, the US teenager with whom Andrew had been pictured.

The duke vehemently denied the allegation.

In April 2015, a US federal judge ordered the claims to be struck from civil court records as the long-running lawsuit against Epstein continued.

But Andrew’s association with Epstein hit the headlines once again in 2019, amid ongoing investigations into the American, who killed himself in prison in August that year while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

The duke’s appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight programme later in November was intended to draw a line under the matter.

But it was dubbed a ‘car crash’, with commentators questioning his responses and condemning his unsympathetic tone and lack of remorse over his friendship with the sex offender Epstein.

During the interview, Andrew denied that he slept with Mrs Giuffre, saying one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he had spent the day with his daughter, Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.

The same alleged sexual liaison, which the American said began with the royal sweating heavily as they danced at London nightclub Tramp, was later branded factually wrong as the duke said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.

And he twice stated that his relationship with sex offender Epstein had provided ‘seriously beneficial outcomes’, giving him the opportunity to meet people and prepare for his future role as a trade envoy.

In January, Andrew’s lawyers attempted to throw out the civil sex case brought by Mrs Giuffre, but a judge rejected this and ruled the case could go to trial.

The Queen stripped Andrew of his honorary military roles in response, and he gave up his HRH style, before demanding a jury trial.

But on February 15, their lawyers reached an out-of-court settlement in what appears to be a conclusion to the case.

Court documents show the duke will make a ‘substantial donation to Mrs Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights’.

While the size of the settlement is not yet known, reports suggested last month Andrew could avoid a trial by using the sale of his £18million Swiss chalet to try to pay off Mrs Giuffre with at least £10million of the proceeds.

A senior palace source told MailOnline today that the compensation figure is believed to be slightly lower at around $10million (£7.5million) – and the deal might only be a ‘settlement in principle’ at the moment because the sale of his Swiss chalet has not yet gone through. 

The source said the settlement will then likely be made when the property sale is completed – adding that he would expect Andrew to be at the service for Philip on March 29.

On being pressured by Buckingham Palace, the source added: ‘I’m sure that Charles has had enough and blown a gasket. 

‘Charles would have said to him that he needed to get this sorted out as soon as possible and before the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations begin. Charles did not want this hanging over the Royal Family this year.’

Emily Baker, former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, told MailOnline the settlement would be ‘at least’ seven-figures and ‘sizeable’.

Meanwhile, London-based criminal lawyer Anna Rothwell said it was ‘not surprising’ Andrew had settled because the BBC interview had provided such a ‘wealth of material to use in cross examination’.

The Queen’s former press secretary Dickie Arbiter told MailOnline today: ‘Where’s the money coming from? Your guess is as good as mine. ‘From the ”Bank of Mummy”? Pure speculation. It’s not just the settlement but the legal fees as well.’

And MailOnline columnist Dan Wootton said: ‘Hard to see how Prince Andrew will ever clear his name in the court of public opinion now he’s settled – and presumably paid huge money – to Virginia Giuffre. He said he’d cooperate with the FBI. He didn’t. He said he’d fight Virginia in court. He didn’t. What’s he hiding?’

Meanwhile royal author Angela Levin told GB News: ‘I think it sounds remarkably humble, which is not something we expect from Prince Andrew. Now, why that is, I’m not sure.

‘I wonder if the Queen, now she’s well, gave him a b******ing and said ‘you’re not going to spoil my Platinum Jubilee. 

‘I’m the only person who’s ever reached this and you just got to sort it out’. She’s the only one I think who should really give him a telling off. She’s very matronly with him and perhaps he decided that. 

‘But it is a great relief I think because it would have rumbled on and that would have taken the headlines all the time and goodness knows what could have come out the other end.’

Another expert, Joe Little of Majesty magazine, said: ‘I just don’t think he’s ever likely to resume work as a working member of the royal family. 

‘I think that too much water has gone under the bridge for that and the institution of monarchy has been tainted by his association with Epstein and I just think that there’s no going back on all that.’

Of the likely reaction of the rest of the Royal Family, Mr Little said: ‘I’m sure that they’re glad this (settlement agreement) has happened, but does it exonerate the prince who really has not been charged with anything criminal? 

‘He will, I think, forever be tainted by this scandal, for want of a better way of describing it.’

It follows reports overnight that Mrs Giuffre claims to have lost the original print of the famous photograph of her and Andrew taken in London in 2001, which could further the Duke’s argument that the image was doctored.

The Metropolitan Police dropped their investigation into Andrew last October, saying they would take ‘no further action’ – but the latest development raises questions over whether he could still be quizzed in the future.

A document submitted to the court in New York today said: ‘Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew have reached an out of court settlement. The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms Giuffre’s receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed).

‘Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights. Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.

‘It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years. Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.

‘He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.’

A source close to Andrew told MailOnline that there would be no statement issued further to what was in the court document.

A second document, which was a letter addressed to US judge Lewis A Kaplan, who has been overseeing the case, said: ‘We write jointly with counsel for defendant to advise the court that the parties reached a settlement in principle of the above-referenced action.’

It goes on to say the parties involved plan to file a ‘stipulation of dismissal of the case’ within 30 days. The letter, signed by Mr Boies, concludes: ‘We appreciate the time and effort the court has devoted to this matter.’ 

The Queen stripped her second son of his prestigious honorary military titles and royal patronages in January, and he stopped using his HRH style, in a move that effectively cast him adrift from the institution. 

It is understood that the statement released by the Palace on January 13, outlining the changes, still stands, with the Duke continuing not to undertake any public duties.

Mrs Giuffre, who is now 38, alleges that Andrew sexually assaulted her at the London home of socialite and Epstein’s close friend Ghislaine Maxwell after a night out dancing in March 2001. 

She sued the Prince last year for unspecified damages, alleging that she was trafficked to him by Epstein and Maxwell.

Last December, Maxwell was convicted of recruiting and grooming young girls to be sexually abused by Epstein, exposing a murky world of sex trafficking among the rich and powerful. 

As well as the London allegations, Mrs Giuffre also said Andrew assaulted her at Epstein’s home in New York, and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands. 

Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, withdrew from public life as a royal in 2019 after a widely ridiculed BBC interview where he sought to vindicate himself of the accusations. 

Epstein killed himself aged 66 in a New York prison cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.  

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