Prince Andrew ‘could pay £10,000,000 from swiss chalet sale to settle sex abuse claims’

Prince Andrew
A hefty financial settlement is now Andrew’s ‘least worst option’, experts say (Picture: Rex/ Getty)

Prince Andrew could raise £10million from the sale of his Swiss chalet to settle sex abuse claims out of court, it has been reported. 

Legal experts say it is his ‘least worst option’ after a US judge ruled he should face a civil trial this autumn over allegations he sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre when she was 17. 

Ms Giuffre alleges that she was made to have sex with Andrew on three occasions in 2001 and while she was the victim of a trafficking ring orchestrated by billionaire peadophile Jeffry Epstein and his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. 

The Duke of York, who has always vehemently denied the allegations, is understood to be prepared to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to stop the case overshadowing the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Reports have suggested Ms Giuffre is unlikely to accept a financial settlement because she wants to send a message that anyone accused of preying on young girls will face the full force of the law. 

But last night her lawyer refused to rule this option out, telling The Sun: ‘I think Virginia is determined to go to trial, but ­settlement is always a possibility.’

Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts, aged 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell at Ghislaine Maxwell's townhouse in London, Britain on March 13 2001 Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts - 2001 Virginia Roberts aged 17 at Ghislaine Maxwell's townhouse in London. The photo was developed on March 13, 2001 when she was 17. Miss Roberts has filed a legal case against Prince Andrew, Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. Miss Roberts now 31, has filed a criminal lawsuit in Florida claiming that she had under-aged sex with Prince Andrew and Billionaire Jeffrey Epstein Rex Features Ltd. do not claim any Copyright or License of this image. Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX (4381006b) An anonymous man terrified he?s about to be named in court papers related to Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell?s alleged child sex trafficking ring is begging a judge not to release his name and identities of others accused ? because it could tarnish their reputations, according to a surprise motion filed Tuesday. Lawyers for the John Doe filed the letter Tuesday ? just a day before Epstein?s self-proclaimed ?sex slave? Virginia Roberts Giuffre is expected to join her lawyers in court as they continue efforts to unseal thousands of pages of documents related to her civil lawsuit against the dead pedophile?s alleged procuress. ?As a non-party to these proceedings, Doe lacks specific knowledge about the contents of the Sealed Materials,? his lawyers wrote to Manhattan federal court judge Loretta Preska. ?But it is clear that these materials implicate the privacy and reputational interests of many persons other than the two primary parties to this action, Giuffre and Maxwell.?
Virginia Giuffre alleges she was made to have sex with the prince when she was 17 (Picture: REX)

Senior royal aides are said to all be urging Andrew to settle as soon as possible to prevent him dragging the ‘whole monarchy through the mud’. 

His legal team, reported to cost £2000-an-hour, were last night locked in talks amid the ‘biggest constitutional crisis in living memory’. 

The Queen is reported to be bankrolling Andrew’s case, but it would be considered a PR disaster if she paid off an alleged sex abuse victim to end the claims against her son.

The key to a settlement could be his £18m chalet in Verbier, Switzerland.

The Daily Mail reports that Andrew found a mystery buyer after settling an outstanding £6million debt to French socialite Isabelle de Rouvre, 74, who sold it to him and Sarah Ferguson in 2014. 

Duke of York's Chalet Helora, Verbier, Switzerland Mandatory Credit: Photo by GLENN HARVEY/REX Shutterstock (4898699c) 20 Feb 2014
The Duke of York”s Chalet in Verbier, Switzerland (Picture: Rex)
Mandatory Credit: Photo by REX/Shutterstock (642593e) Prince Andrew Prince Andrew on a skiing holiday in Verbier, Switzerland - 14 Feb 2007
Prince Andrew on a skiing holiday in Verbier, Switzerland (Picture: Rex)

If the case does go to trial, Andrew will be expected to give a sworn witness statement answering Ms Giuffre’s claims.

Sworn statements from Ms Ferguson and daughters Princess Beatrice and Eugenie are also a possibility.

A full civil trial with a jury could see Andrew cross-examined about his sex life and his links to Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. 

A spokesman for the Duke refused to comment.

His lawyers have previously claimed a financial offer has not been discussed but accepted more than 95% of US civil trials are settled out of court.

Mark Stephens, an expert in constitutional law, said: ‘This has dropped a bomb on the Royal Family. It is the most serious problem in living memory.

‘The only thing to make it worse would be if he were cross-examined over what he did or didn’t do to a 17-year-old woman. He has to settle now. It is his least worst option. He would be lampooned by Ms Giuffre’s lawyer in court.

‘Someone in the Royal Family must grab the tiller and guide this to a safe shore.

‘The Queen will be taking advice from Downing Street, Privy Councillors and her trusted aides.’

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