All eyes are on Prince Andrew as he demands a trial by jury for the sexual assault case in which he is accused of sexually abusing Virginia Giuffre. The royal family is not pleased with this development.
Prince Andrew has vehemently denied the long-running accusations of sexual assault and has also insisted that he has no close friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell or Jeffrey Epstein. However, the spotlight on these allegations forced him to take a break from his normal royal duties in 2019.
The Accusations of Sexual Assault against Prince Andrew
Virginia Giuffre claimed that Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her at multiple locations, including Jeffrey Epstein's private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Ghislaine Maxwell's house in London, and Epstein's home in New York City. She also said that Prince Andrew was well aware that she and other girls were underage, and that Epstein coerced her into having sex with Andrew and his friends.
Prince Andrew admitted in court that he met Epstein in 1999 and that Epstein and Maxwell attended his birthday party in 2000, but he said this was pretty much the extent of their relationship.
According to a legal filing in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Prince Andrew is now demanding a jury trial in the civil lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre.
"Prince Andrew's answer continues his approach of denying any knowledge or information concerning the claims against him, and purporting to blame the victim of the abuse for somehow bringing it on herself," David Boies, Giuffre's attorney responded in a statement. "We look forward to confronting Prince Andrew with his denials and attempts to blame Ms. Giuffre for her own abuse at his deposition and at trial."
The Royal Family's Response
Since Prince Andrew was removed from his royal duties in 2019 it's clear that the royal family is not chuffed with his involvement in this case, however peripheral it may be. Prince Charles, heir to the throne, is apparently urging Andrew to settle out of court and avoid a trial.
A source told the Sun that there are "deep, deep worries that this will get worse and worse for the family." Prince Andrew already had his military titles and HRH styling taken away from him by Queen Elizabeth, his mother, making it clear that she is very unhappy with how this is all unfolding. "“The best outcome for everyone is that this is settled as soon as possible," the source continued.
We haven't heard directly from any royals, but it seems as though Prince Andrew is anything but a family favorite at the moment.