Queen Elizabeth is footing the legal bills for Prince Andrew as palace aides express doubts about the royal’s account of his dealings with Virginia Giuffre, who sued him in Manhattan federal court for alleged sexual assault this week.
Lawyers for the Prince are also desperate not to have him go to trial in the U.S., according to a report in the Times of London.
Although Andrew, 61, has vigorously denied meeting Giuffre, unnamed palace aides told the newspaper there are “inconsistencies” and problems with “credibility” in his story. Andrew allegedly had “numerous” sexual encounters with Giuffre, beginning in 2001, when she was 17 and one of dozens of sex slaves groomed by convicted pedophile and financier Jeffrey Epstein, according to the civil suit.
Giuffre, now 38 and a married mother of three, is suing the prince for punitive damages.
Prince Andrew’s defense is funded by payments he receives from the Queen’s private Duchy of Lancaster estate after he was forced to relinquish his royal duties in 2019, following a disastrous BBC interview.