New Lawsuit against Prince Andrew Leaves the Royal Without Good Options
The British royal family has faced a lot of publicity lately for their behavior, and one of the most shocking events has been the accusations against Prince Andrew. This younger son of Queen Elizabeth II has been accused of sex crimes against teenagers. In a case connected with sex trafficer Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew is being sued for abusing a young girl. Regardless of how he chooses to respond, legal experts believe he will face consequences.
Alleged Victim Seeks Compensation for Assault
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Virginia Roberts Giuffre. She claims that in 2001, Jeffrey Epstein arranged for Prince Andrew to have an encounter with her at his Manhattan mansion. At the time, Giuffre was 17. In addition to being underage, Giuffre says she did not consent to have sex with Prince Andrew. The lawsuit states that she was forced to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew over a period of three separate encounters. Furthermore, it specifies that Prince Andrew was aware that she was an underaged sexual trafficking victim when he abused her. She is suing him for the significant psychological distress and emotional harm caused by his actions.
Lawyer Says It's "Game Over" for Prince Andrew's Reputation
There will still be a little time before the lawsuit is officially heard in court, but legal experts are already weighing in. British lawyer Amber Melville-Brown believes there is no way for him to salvage his reputation. Regardless of whether or not Giuffre's claims are proven in court, the public already has serious concerns about Prince Andrew's behavior. His attempts to refute the allegations have already been met with a lot of scepticism. Even though he claims he has never met Giuffre, photos of the two together reveal that they were in fact involved. The outcome is likely to be disastrous regardless of which option he chooses.
Ignoring the Lawsuit Would Cost Prince Andrew a Lot of Money
Prince Andrew's first option is ignoring the lawsuit altogether. He is not legally required to attend court or testify on his behalf against Giuffre's charges. However, if Prince Andrew does not show up, he loses by default. The court could then choose to require him to pay a lot of money to compensate Giuffre for her pain and suffering. Ultimately, the prince stands to lose millions. However, many believe that this is the route he will take. The British royals tend to be fairly private and try to avoid appearing in court whenever possible. Prince Andrew may choose to pay millions just to keep what privacy he can.
Engaging in the Lawsuit Could Open Prince Andrew Up to Criminal Charges
However, Prince Andrew is not one of the wealthiest members of his family, so he might not want to risk losing millions of dollars. In this case, his best option would be to respond to the charges and plead his case in court. Unfortunately, this will mean that Prince Andrew has to air a lot of dirty laundry, and what he states will become part of public record. A legal deposition would require Prince Andrew to provide an honest answer to questions he has avoided in past interviews. He could end up incriminating himself, which could lead to criminal charges for assault, or he could try to hide evidence and end up with charges for perjury.
Giuffre's Team Says Andrew Has Declined Offers to Settle
Though some legal experts believe that fighting the case is the riskiest option, it seems like that might be what Andrew is going to do. Lawyer David Boies, who is representing Giuffre, states that the royal's legal team has declined offers to settle so far. A settlement would help keep private matters out of court and potentially reduce the amount Prince Andrew has to pay. However, the public would most likely see a settlement as an admission of guilt. Prince Andrew may hope to try refuting the charges in court, even though the lawsuit will undoubtedly reveal more information that may end up casting him in a bad light.
Ultimately, this lawsuit is an unprecedented situation for the British royal family. Before this, no one has attempted to sue a royal for sexual assault. No matter how the prince responds and how the court decides, this case could cause a public relations crisis for the family.