Queen Elizabeth ‘could be asked to help fund a settlement between Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts in sex abuse suit


Queen Elizabeth 'could be asked to help fund a settlement between Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts in sex abuse suit

The Queen would reportedly be asked to help fund a potential settlement that her son Prince Andrew pays to his accuser Virginia Roberts.

This is coming after it emerged this week that Prince Andrew could settle out of court with Ms Roberts to avoid the case going to trial.

If he does decide to offer his accuser a payoff, which allegedly could exceed £5million, the Queen would be asked to contribute alongside his own input, The Telegraph reported.

The monarch has been funding the Duke’s legal fees since last February, when he first appointed a solicitor.

Ms. Roberts, who now uses her married name of Giuffre, claims that the prince had sex with her three times after she was trafficked by paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew has consistently denied the allegations.

The funds provided by the Queen are sourced from the income from her private Duchy of Lancaster estate.

Prince Andrew is also to be considering selling the Swiss chalet he and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson bought for £17million in 2014, and the money could also be used to help pay fees associated with the case brought by Ms. Roberts.

It was claimed yesterday that Andrew is trying to speed up the sale of the property.

The decision to sell the property came after Andrew and the Duchess of York settled a legal dispute with its former owner, Isabella de Rouvre, 74. She claimed they still owed her £6.6million after allegedly missing the final instalment for the property on January 1, 2020.

She took the case over the property to the Swiss courts. However, Ms de Rouvre agreed to drop the legal proceedings when it emerged the property was close to selling for the asking price of £17.3million.

The Yorks are set to repay the debt once the sale of the home goes through.

The Yorks became friends with Miss de Rouvre after regularly renting the chalet for holidays with their children, Beatrice and Eugenie.

Prince Andrew and his ex-wife bought it with a mortgage and private funding from the Queen as a ‘long-term family investment’, sources claimed.

If judge Kaplan does decide that Virginia Giuffre’s case should go to full trial, insiders said the option to settle out of court ‘remains on the table’.

A source told the Daily Mail earlier this week: ‘Obviously, this is a US case involving US lawyers and involving a US civil lawsuit,’ one source said. ‘In reality, 99 per cent of US civil litigations are settled out of court.

‘A settlement would always be an option on the table, as that’s where the vast majority end up. There is also the wider pressure and attritional impact to consider.’

Andrew’s lawyers argued this week in a New York court that Miss Roberts’ case should not go to trial because of her civil settlement with Epstein.

The Duke’s legal team says that in return for a $500,000 (£370,000) payout, she agreed to waive her right to sue any other ‘potential defendants,’ which would include the prince, given the allegations she has made against him.

Miss Roberts claims she was raped by the Duke on three occasions in 2001 when she was 17 and he was 41.

Andrew has always vehemently denied the allegations and said he does not recollect meeting Miss Roberts, despite the existence of a picture of them together with Ghislaine Maxwell.

Andrew’s legal team argued this week Miss Roberts’ case should be thrown out on several grounds: her previous settlement, the fact that she has not given enough specifics about the alleged abuse, and that her pursuit of the case was ‘unconstitutional’.

Judge Kaplan said his ruling on whether the case should go to trial would be issued ‘pretty soon’.

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