Prince Andrew 'could be asked to drop Duke of York title' if he loses sex abuse lawsuit

2 January 2022, 15:26 | Updated: 4 January 2022, 12:25

Prince Andrew has denied all sexual assault allegations levelled against him by Virginia Giuffre.
Prince Andrew has denied all sexual assault allegations levelled against him by Virginia Giuffre. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Prince Andrew could be stripped of his Duke of York title if he loses a sex abuse lawsuit brought by a victim of Jeffrey Epstein, it has been reported.

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Ms Giuffre alleges that Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her three times when she was 17, which he strongly denies, and is suing for unspecified damages.

According to the Sunday Times, royal courtiers have discussed what to do about Andrew if he loses the case.

Episodes of Hunting Ghislaine: The Trial are released every Friday exclusively on Global Player.

One measure is to ask him to stop using his title, while another would be to force him give up his remaining links to charities, the Sunday Times reported.

He could also be asked to scale back his housing and would no longer be able to travel internationally due to the risk of extradition, the reports say.

Read more: Prince Andrew fails to halt sexual assault lawsuit with domicile claim

Read more: Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of trafficking teenage girls for abuse by Jeffrey Epstein

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “This is speculation and the comments are without foundation. We would not comment on an ongoing legal matter.”

The reports come just days after Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of trafficking teenage girls for abuse by Jeffrey Epstein.

The British socialite was convicted of helping paedophile Jeffrey Epstein following five full days of deliberations by jurors.

The verdict capped a month-long trial featuring sordid accounts of the sexual exploitation of girls as young as 14, told by four women who described being abused as teenagers in the 1990s and early 2000s at Epstein's homes in Florida, New York and New Mexico.

A statement from the US attorney's office said: "A unanimous jury has found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty of one of the worst crimes imaginable - facilitating and participating in the sexual abuse of children. Crimes that she committed with her long-time partner and co-conspirator, Jeffrey Epstein.

"The road to justice has been far too long. But, today, justice has been done. I want to commend the bravery of the girls - now grown women - who stepped out of the shadows and into the courtroom.

"Their courage and willingness to face their abuser made this case, and today's result, possible."

Read more: Prince Andrew asked for evidence of 'inability to sweat' by Virginia Giuffre's lawyers

Read more: Prince Andrew accuser: 'Others must be held accountable' after Maxwell verdict

Maxwell was found guilty of five of the six counts she faced, as she was cleared enticing a girl under the age of 17 to travel with intent to engage in illegal sexual activity.

On Saturday, Prince Andrew suffered another legal blow after a US judge denied a motion from his lawyers to halt proceedings in the lawsuit while an issue of where his accuser lives is dealt with.

Earlier this week Andrew’s lawyers had called for the case against the royal in the US to be stopped because Ms Giuffre is “actually domiciled in Australia”.

Read more: Ghislaine Maxwell: The events that led to her trial, as she now faces decades behind bars

However, Judge Lewis Kaplan, in a ruling in New York, denied the request, stating that Ms Giuffre's legal team has previously received "at least one comprehensive request for documents relating to her domicile, to which responses are due, and have been promised, by January 14".

The judge added that his ruling was being made "without determining the merit, or lack of merit" of an assertion by Ms Giuffre's team that Andrew's lawyers' motion was "a transparent attempt to delay discovery into his own documents and testimony".