In 2022, after a federal judge in Manhattan upheld the allegations of sexual abuse in the civil case against Prince Andrew , the second son of Queen Elizabeth II , Buckingham Palace stripped him of his military titles and royal patronages. King Carlos III ‘s brother was banished , since from that moment he will not be able to claim the title of “His Royal Highness of him”, a symbol of his status as a main member of the royal family.
A year after those events, 61-year-old British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell , who is serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison in Florida for her role in sex-trafficking girls alongside disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein , denounced, during a broadcast on TalkTV in the UK, that the widely published photo of Prince André with his arm around Virginia Roberts Giuffre , who sued the monarch alleging he molested her when she was 17, is “false”.
Specifically, Ghislaine Maxwell said she was “sure” that the infamous photo of Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accused him of sexual assault in a lawsuit that was later settled out of court with “a substantial donation to the charity of Mrs. Giuffre”, was manipulated. In the photo, which was taken in 2001 according to The Guardian newspaper, Maxwell also appears , standing behind the prince and the alleged victim, smiling. Regarding the falsehood of the image, the interview reiterated: “I don’t think it’s real for a second. In fact, I’m sure it’s not. There has never been an original and, furthermore, there is no photograph.” I’ve only seen a photocopy of it.”
Prince Andrew alleges that everything has been false
Prince Andrew, 62, similarly claimed the image was doctored . In his meeting with the BBC in November 2019, the Duke of York claimed that he had “no recollection” of meeting Giuffre and “absolutely no recollection of that photograph being taken.” But the scandal erupted because of the prince’s friendship with former financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who accuser Virginia Giuffre says “trafficked” her to the prince.
In August 2021, Virginia Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew alleging that Jeffrey Epstein(who was found dead in prison awaiting trial for sex trafficking in August 2019) trafficked her and forced her to have sex with the monarch three times between 1999 and 2002, when she was a teenager. For her part, Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied wrongdoing. In September 2021, his attorney Andrew B. Brettler of Lavely & Singer defended his client’s innocence in a virtual hearing, describing Giuffre’s lawsuit as “baseless, unfeasible and potentially illegal.” And in January 2022, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan refused to grant the royal’s motion to dismiss the case due to a $500,000 settlement reached between Giuffre and Epstein in 2009.
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