Andrew paid final Swiss chalet bill 'to fund sex case settlement' but has yet to sell

19 February 2022, 21:31 | Updated: 20 February 2022, 10:31

Andrew has cleared the way to sell his chalet, pictured
Andrew has cleared the way to sell his chalet, pictured. Picture: Alamy

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Prince Andrew desperately cleared the way to sell his £18m luxury ski chalet in the Swiss alps ahead of his settlement with Virginia Giuffre.

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For years the Duke of York had failed to pay for about a quarter of the property - and faced legal action as a result - but he finally came forward with the money because he wanted to sell.

He and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson had purchased the lodge in Verbier together in 2014.

READ MORE: Queen 'gave £2m to Virginia Giuffre's charity' as part of Andrew's £12m settlement

READ MORE: Prince Andrew has spent the last two years victim blaming, claims ex-chief prosecutor

Isabelle de Rouvre, a French national who sold it to them, said in an interview with The Washington Post: "You can see where [any proceeds] are going to go."

She also told MailOnline: "The war is finished. It is the end of the matter."

A source close to Andrew told the website: "I can confirm that the legal action has been halted and that the chalet is being sold."

However, Andrew, who celebrates his 62nd birthday on Saturday, has still not found a buyer for the property.

Chalets in Verbier ski resort, Switzerland
Chalets in Verbier ski resort, Switzerland. Picture: Alamy

Neighbours in the Alpine village also speculated the sale of the chalet was linked to his settlement with Ms Guiffre and in order to avoid a court appearance.

One near neighbour told the Mail: "Andrew and his family loved their chalet – and he would never have wanted to sell it unless he was forced to.

"He obviously wanted to avoid going to court with all the shame that it would have heaped on him and members of the Royal family, no matter how much he protested his innocence.

"It looks like selling up was the only option for him to ensure he had the cash to pay his legal bills and fund a settlement."

Resort Centre, Verbier
Resort Centre, Verbier. Picture: Alamy

Andrew agreed earlier this week to settle the case in which he was accused of abusing Ms Guiffre when she was a teenager.

She had alleged she was forced to have sex with the duke three times when she was 17 under the orders of the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew, who has been stripped of his titles and patronages, has always vehemently denied all allegations against him.

The settlement came just weeks after he vowed to contest Ms Giuffre's claims at a public trial.

It was reported to be to be around £12 million but it has never been made clear where the money for this will come from.

As part of the settlement, neither Andrew nor Ms Guiffre are allowed the discuss the case or the financial deal.