United Kingdom

Sarah Ferguson ‘may be quizzed by lawyers about Prince Andrew’s alibi’

Prince Andrew told BBC Panorama that he did not party with sex abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre in March 2001 as she claims, instead saying he was taking his daughter to a Pizza Express in Woking

Sarah Ferguson with ex-husband Prince Andrew, who denies sex abuse

Sarah Ferguson may be forced to answer questions about the night her ex-husband claims he was at a Pizza Express, it has been reported.

The mum-of-two is reportedly likely to be subpoenaed as part of the lawsuit accusing Prince Andrew of sex abuse.

Lawyers for Virginia Giuffre, who says she was forced to have sex with the Duke when she was 17, are said to be keen to quiz her about his alibi.

Andrew, who stepped back from royal duties amid controversy over his friendship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, denies partying with Ms Giuffre at a London nightclub on March 10, 2001.

She says she was made to sleep with the Duke, who was then 41, that night.



Prince Andrew with accuser Virginia Giuffre, then Virginia Roberts
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Image:

Collect Unknown)




In a car-crash interview with BBC Panorama, the Queen’s second son denied the allegation, saying he took his daughter to the restaurant in Woking because Sarah Ferguson was away.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, Ferguson may have to answer questions about her whereabouts at the time as a result.

Former New York federal prosecutor Bradley Simon, now a defence attorney specialising in complex civil litigation, said it was going to be “open season”.

He said: “They’re going to ask for a kitchen sink.

“They’re going to seek every correspondence, phone logs, emails, diaries. They’re going to go after people who were with him.”



A legal expert says Ms Giuffre’s team may “throw the kitchen sink” at Andrew
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PA)




Mr Simon said he believed the “best course of action” for Andrew would be to “settle quietly”, but said it seemed the plaintiffs “want to have a big public spectacle here so it may not be that he could settle”.

He said that settling out of court may be seen as an admission of guilt, but said this is not always the case.

He said the Duke “might be as innocent as could be and he’s just decided, with a cost benefit analysis, that he doesn’t want to go through this”.

Prince Andrew has until October 29 to respond to a lawsuit filed in the US accusing him of sexual assault, with his defence set to be heard for the first time on November 3.

He claimed he would “robustly engage” with the legal process.



Prince Andrew claimed he was at Pizza Express in Woking on March 10, 2001
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Image:

PA)




The Duke of York has received court papers relating to a lawsuit in the United States and his lawyers have agreed an extension to an initial 21 day period for them to respond.

Despite arguing if there was any merit to the civil case launched by Virginia Giuffre, a former sex slave of Andrew’s late paedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein, the Duke was ordered to respond to the allegations by New York judge Lewis Kaplan.

An extension was agreed by both parties, giving Andrew’s new US legal team until October 29 to respond.

A pre-trial hearing which will take place via a conference call with both parties’ legal representatives has now been scheduled for November 3.

It is expected both sides will agree scheduling for any potential trial to take place or whether the case against the Duke is dismissed entirely.

US counsel Andrew Brettler, is set to argue that the case is thrown out, claiming that a 2009 agreement between Ms Giuffre and Epstein released Andrew from “any and all potential liability”.


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