Prince Andrew Stripped Of Royal Patronages and Military Affiliations as Sex Abuse Lawsuit Moves Ahead

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Britain's Prince Andrew has been stripped of royal patronages and military affiliations — with the queen's approval — a day after a U.S. district judge rejected his motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre that alleges he sexually abused her when she was 17. 

"The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said Thursday.

All of his roles have been handed back to Queen Elizabeth II and will be redistributed to other members of the royal family, according to a royal source. He also will no longer be using "His Royal Highness" in any official capacities. 

Andrew's lawyers had argued that the lawsuit that is now moving ahead should be thrown out because of a 2009 deal that Guiffre signed with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Judge Lewis Kaplan said the 2009 deal "cannot be seen" to benefit Andrew.

It is possible that Andrew will decide to fight the case in court, but given the negative light that process would shine on his family, most analysts see it as highly unlikely. As a U.K. resident, he could also simply refuse to cooperate with a trial if it does go ahead, but that tactic could be disastrous.

The prince's best option, CBS News legal analyst Rikki Klieman said, is to try to reach a settlement with Giuffre out of court, to stop the case going to trial. But Giuffre would have to agree to that option, and so far, her legal team has indicated no inclination to do so.

Giuffre, who claims the prince sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions when she was a teenager, told CBS News in 2020 that Andrew "should be panicking," and that the royal "needs to be held accountable."

Prince Andrew denies all the accusations and has never been charged with a crime. He claims to have no recollection of meeting Giuffre, despite the two of them being photographed together when Giuffre was a teenager. Epstein's former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted in December of grooming and trafficking minors for sexual abuse, appears in the same photo.

Once regarded as a handsome, playboy prince, Andrew's name is now indelibly stained by his friendships with convicted sex offenders Epstein and Maxwell.

This story was originally published by CBS News on Jan. 13, 2022 at 1 p.m. ET.

 

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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