US News

Prince Andrew could face £12m bill to end sex abuse case amid rising debt fears

Prince Andrew fears ­£2million legal bills from his civil sex abuse case and a potential £10million payout to accuser Virginia Guiffre will ruin him.

The Duke of York is counting the cost of being banished from the Royal Family after the Queen stripped him of military titles and his remaining royal patronages.

He has been left to fight ­allegations of sexual assault as a private citizen after his mum, with advice from future kings princes Charles and William, banished him from royal life for ever.

Andrew, who has always denied the allegations, is understood to have taken time to bemoan his financial situation, telling his closest confidants he fears being left ­insolvent as well as an outcast from his family.

Prince Andrew being driven by two Detectives as he leaves Royal Lodge

A royal source said: “Until very recently it appears the absolute enormity of this case and the ­consequences [Andrew] faces has not hit him.

“Now the bills are mounting up and the possibility of a settlement – or, even worse, a judgment against him – is being widely discussed, he fears complete financial ruin.”

It is understood the Queen and her heirs decided to cut Andrew adrift after becoming “infuriated” with the crisis in her ­platinum jubilee year.

A source ­suggested senior royals believed the duke had “run out of road” after a New York judge threw out the his latest bid to halt a full civil trial.

Prince Charles yesterday refused to acknowledge a reporter’s questions on his ­brother’s “situation”, at a visit to Haddo Country Park in Ellon, Aberdeenshire.

Prince Charles refused to comment during a visit to Ellon in Aberdeenshire
Prince Charles refused to comment during a visit to Ellon in Aberdeenshire

It can be revealed that Andrew was yesterday locked in talks with his legal teams in the UK and the US as they waited for Guiffre’s team to respond to a 6pm deadline about her living arrangements.

The duke’s lawyers believe his case cannot be heard under US federal law, arguing at least one party in a civil lawsuit must reside in the country.

Giuffre, 38, who claims that Andrew had sex with her on three occasions when she was 17, has lived in Australia since 2002.

Andrew’s finances have always been shrouded in mystery but he appears to live the life of a millionaire.

In the past he has received around £20,000 a year from his naval pension and an annual allowance of £250,000 as a senior working royal.

In 2007 he sold his marital home Sunningdale Park in Berkshire, a gift from the Queen when he married Sarah Ferguson, for £15million.

Fergie is understood to have received up to £3million when they divorced, but this was said to include £500,000 from the Queen, £1.4million for princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and £350,000 in cash.

Despite rushing to complete the sale of a £17million Swiss chalet, Andrew’s debts have been worsened by a £6million payment to a French socialite he bought the alpine mansion from in 2014 and lawyers’ fees of at least £2million.

Legal experts believe Andrew may have to pay as much as £10million to Giuffre to stop the case coming to court.

Media lawyer Mark Stephens said: “Andrew has to settle. His position is bad, he’s ­reputationally done. The only thing he can do is throw himself on the grenade and take the hit for the family.”

The royal source added: “Andrew thought, indeed was advised, that this would all go away in time and [this situation] has happened, leaving him facing an uphill battle to even salvage any crumb of his reputation.

“There is a very real prospect of him being completely broke.”

It is understood that the Queen “would not assist” her son in paying a settlement due to the perceived reputational damage to the Crown.

Sources close to the duke last night maintained he would “continue to fight to clear his name” despite being cut adrift by his family.

It can be revealed he was given just two hours’ notice to attend a face-to-face meeting with the Queen at midday on Thursday.

Sources close to the duke revealed he was “fully aware what was coming” and stayed with his mother for just half an hour to
be told he was being stripped of all military associations and patronages.

A bombshell statement was issued at 5pm and Buckingham Palace has made no further comment.

Sources have confirmed Andrew would not lose his security, suggesting the Queen would meet his £300,000 annual bill if he is left broke.

That would likely cause further ­friction within the family after Prince Harry and wife Meghan were told to pay for their own security when they quit their royal roles.

A spokesman for the Duke of York did not comment.

Don’t miss the latest news from around Scotland and beyond – Sign up to our daily newsletter here .




Source link

Back to top button