The Queen has put “clear water blue water between the Royal Family and Prince Andrew” after the Duke of York officially “demanded a trial by jury”. ITV’s Royal Editor Chris Ship warned that the Queen will continue to distance the Royal Family from her son. This comes as the Prince’s legal team has formally responded to the allegations made by his accuser, Virginia Giuffre.
Ms Giuffre alleges he assaulted her when she was 17 at homes owned by Ghislaine Maxwell and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The Duke of York has consistently denied all the allegations against him.
In an 11-page court document, filed on Wednesday, Prince Andrew’s legal team listed several reasons why they believe her civil lawsuit should be dismissed.
Writing to a US judge, his lawyers state: “Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint.”
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The document also “denies” Ms Guiffre’s claim that Prince Andrew was a close friend of Ghislaine Maxwell.
Good Morning Britain host Kate Garraway said: “Whether it goes to trial, and every detail is played out in court with cameras, or not. It is not going to go away, is it?
“You wonder what the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family feel about the idea of seeing Prince Andrew in a dock?
“And us all watching every bit of the prosecution’s case?”
He added: “But you get a sense that Prince Andrew is prepared to fight hard, as hard as he possibly can.
“If you look at one of the defences in there, called the doctrine of unclean hands, it suggests his team are going to accuse Virginia Giuffre of herself acting unethically in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking operation.
“If it’s going to be that long, that protracted, that messy, no wonder the Queen decided that he has to fight this as a private citizen.
“That’s why she decided to put clear blue water between the royal family and him.”
US lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents a number of Ms Maxwell’s and Mr Epstein’s accusers, has called the latest demand a “PR move”, pointing out Ms Giuffre had already asked for a jury trial.