Prince Andrew faces 'disaster' if he reopens sex abuse case against Virginia Giuffre, lawyer claims
The evidence that Prince Andrew sexually abused Virginia Giuffre remains "very strong", her lawyer has claimed, amid reports the Duke of York is considering reopening his case.
David Boies, the lawyer who has represented Giuffre in the civil case she filed against Andrew in 2021 said the Duke faces potential "disaster" if he attempts to clear his name by reopening the settlement and revisiting the allegations levelled against him.
Watch: Virginia Giuffre's lawyer explains why Prince Andrew settled the case against him
Giuffre has alleged the Duke sexually assaulted her three times when she was a teenager — in London, New York and on Epstein's private island, Little St. James. Andrew has vehemently denied these claims, but reached a multimillion out-of-court settlement with Giuffre last year.
Boies was appearing on TalkTV's Piers Morgan Uncensored, and said he didn't believe Andrew could "have afforded to go to trial" and that the Duke settled the case right before he was due to give his deposition - the formal statement Andrew would have given to court to be used as evidence.
"This was never a case where I think he could have afforded to go to trial. This was a case where I think the evidence was too strong and it was going to be very difficult for him to give a deposition," Boies said.
"It settled right on the eve of the time the court had ordered that deposition to be taken and I think it was a deposition that would have been extremely difficult for him."
Boies also said that, despite Andrew's willingness to defend himself on Newsnight in 2019, a deposition would have been an entirely different kettle of fish.
"I think his lawyers recognised, that it would be a disaster for him to appear for a deposition. I deposed Ghislaine Maxwell and she was indicted for perjury, as a result of that deposition. I think he would have been taking a terrible criminal risk to appear for a deposition where he’d have to answer those questions under oath and if he would not answer those questions truthfully under oath, he could then expose himself to real criminal liability.”
Giuffre's lawyer also said that the existence of the photograph of his client, convicted sex-offender Ghislaine Maxwell and the Duke of York at Maxwell's London home would have damaged Andrew's credibility to a jury. Andrew has previously cast doubt on the authenticity of the photograph, suggesting it could have been digitally altered.
Despite this Boies doubts that Andrew will reopen the case, saying Andrew will be subject to the same scrutiny that he was subjected to before settling the case initially.
The US lawyer also questioned whether if Andrew was an "ordinary chap" rather than a member of the Royal Family, prosecutors would have treated them differently.
"There is no doubt he could have been prosecuted criminally if prosecutors either had jurisdiction over him or wanted to. I think one of the things that was disappointing to us in the United States was how lightly the British prosecutory authorities treated this.
“I don’t know if it was because he was a member of the Royal Family or whether he just was wealthy, could afford good lawyers… our justice system in the United States as well as in the United Kingdom greatly favours people who are well represented so i think if he’d been an ordinary chap who had done what he did, I think the prosecutors would have been looking at him in a different way."
Yahoo News UK has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment.
Watch: Prince Andrew's moments fleeting in S5 of The Crown - likely so we don't feel sorry for him