Palace defence of Andrew used by Maxwell in court as King ‘insists no way back’
Buckingham Palace’s defence of the Duke of York was used in court by Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyer, a second batch of unsealed court documents has shown amid reports the King is determined there is “no way back” to public royal life for his brother.
A new tranche of 300 pages of legal papers relating to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and connected to a 2015 defamation case brought by Virginia Giuffre against Maxwell was released in the US.
The royal household issued a statement in 2015 in which the Palace “emphatically denied” Andrew had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Ms Giuffre, branding the allegations “false and without foundation”.
Newly-released legal papers show the attorney of disgraced British socialite Maxwell mentioned the Palace’s defence of Andrew in a bid to get the defamation complaint dismissed.
Laura Menninger said Ms Giuffre filed a motion claiming “to have been involved in sexual relations with Prince Andrew, with world leaders, a former prime minister of some country or other, (American lawyer) Mr Alan Dershowitz.”
But Ms Menninger added: “The press comes calling and asked my client and Mr Dershowitz and Prince Andrew and everyone else whether any of the allegations contained in this legal pleading are true.
“Buckingham Palace issued a statement flatly denying the claims made by plaintiff here.”
Ms Menninger later said: “Buckingham Palace said her claims were absolutely untrue.”
She added that “while others have called her a liar, notably Mr Dershowitz, and others have denied claims that plaintiff has made, including Buckingham Palace … Ms Maxwell has not actually ever called her a liar”.
In the first batch of some 1,000 pages released a day earlier, the duke was, in allegations aired previously and which Andrew strenuously denies, accused of having an orgy with underage girls, and touching a woman’s breast while posing with a puppet of himself.
The Daily Mail reported that resurfacing of the claims has “crystallised” the King’s determination to deal decisively with his brother and there was “no way back”.
Sources told the newspaper the release of the documents has strengthened Charles’s resolve to never allow Andrew to resume royal duties, with plans already in progress to move him from his Royal Lodge home in Windsor Great Park into a smaller property.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
Andrew walked to church with the rest of the royal family at Sandringham just over a week and a half ago on Christmas Day, with his appearance viewed as part of a gradual rehabilitation within the monarchy, coming seven months after he was permitted to attend the King’s coronation in his grand Garter robes.
Other newly-released documents revealed Ms Giuffre claimed she was sex-trafficked to the duke and “two of the world’s most respected politicians”, but the names remained redacted.
Journalist Sharon Churcher wrote an email about how it would be a “gamble” for Ms Giuffre to give Vanity Fair magazine a statement about how she had no more to say about how she was “sex-trafficked to PA and other men including two of the world’s most respected politicians”.
Other papers showed Maxwell, who has since been jailed for sex trafficking young girls for Epstein, claimed Ms Churcher helped Ms Giuffre “concoct” sexual assault allegations against Andrew.
Her legal team accused the reporter of manufacturing some of the claims, and of emailing Ms Giuffre explaining how to “corroborate a story to tell the FBI – that she was ‘given to’ PrinceAndrew”, with information on flights.
They also alleged that a handwritten diary by Ms Giuffre, which contained information about her alleged encounter with Andrew, was a “completely fabricated document”.
Ms Churcher in an email to Ms Giuffre told her how Johanna Sjoberg, a masseuse for Epstein, recalled being “groped by Andrew one Easter at the NY mansion and that Ghislaine sat both of you on his knee”.
Earlier unsealed documents contained evidence from Ms Sjoberg in which she claimed Andrewput his hand on her breast while she sat on his lap as they posed for a photo with what was reported to be a Spitting Image puppet of the duke.
Andrew quit as a working royal in 2019 over his friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein and in the wake of his disastrous appearance on Panorama.
He was later stripped by his mother Queen Elizabeth II of his honorary military roles, and gave up his HRH style.
The duke paid millions to Ms Giuffre to settle a civil sexual assault case out of court with no admission of guilt.
Ms Giuffre claimed she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew three times when she was 17 and a minor under US law at Maxwell’s London home, in Epstein’s New York home and during an orgy on Epstein at Caribbean island.
Pressure on the duke has grown after anti-monarchy group Republic reported him to the Metropolitan Police and called on the force to reopen investigations into the claims.
US Judge Loretta Preska ruled last month that documents naming more than 170 people who were either associates, friends or victims of Epstein should be made public.
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