Scotland Yard Has Spoken to Woman Who Accused Prince Andrew of Sexual Abuse, Report Says

© REUTERS / POOLBritain's Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, looks on during the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, who died at the age of 99, on the grounds of Windsor Castle in Windsor, Britain, April 17, 2021.
Britain's Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, looks on during the funeral of Britain's Prince Philip, husband of Queen Elizabeth, who died at the age of 99, on the grounds of Windsor Castle in Windsor, Britain, April 17, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.10.2021
The second son of Queen Elizabeth II, said to be her favourite, has for years been accused by a woman who claims she was forced to sleep with the royal on at least three occasions, including when she was an underage girl. The Duke of York has categorically denied the accusations.
Scotland Yard has spoken to Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was sexually abused by Prince Andrew, The Sunday Times has reported. According to the newspaper, officers contacted the 38-year-old about her allegations after Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said in August that "no one is above the law".

It is unclear whether police officers spoke to Mrs Giuffre recently or back in August when the commissioner made the statement.

The woman's lawyer Sigrid McCawley told the newspaper that Scotland Yard should open an investigation into Prince Andrew given "the clear and compelling evidence implicating" the royal.

In August, Reuters reported, citing an anonymous source, that the Duke of York is considered a "person of interest" in the US investigation into disgraced American financier Jeffrey Epstein and his alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell.

His lawyers previously claimed that a 2009 settlement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre protects the royal "from any and all liability". Mrs Giuffre's lawyers insist that the papers are "irrelevant" to the case.
Prince Andrew's legal team has until 29 October to respond to the lawsuit filed by Mrs Giuffre. According to The Sunday Telegraph, a remote hearing has been scheduled for 3 November.

What are the Accusations?

For years, Virginia Giuffre has accused Prince Andrew of having sexually assaulted her. The 38-year-old is one of the alleged sex slaves of late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender who was charged in July 2019 of running a sex trafficking network of minors. Prince Andrew and Epstein were buddies, and the royal admitted to having visited the financier's numerous mansions and a private island, where dozens of women claim sexual abuse took place.
Mrs Giuffre claims that when she was 17, she was trafficked to London and forced to have sex with Andrew. She also alleges that the Duke of York slept with her at least two more times. The 61-year-old royal has categorically denied the accusations. In a bid to explain his relationship with the convicted sex offender and clear his name, the royal gave an interview to the BBC. This was several months after Epstein had been arrested and killed himself in his cell in 2019 while awaiting trial.

The interview, however, resulted in blowback, as the prince took a defiant stance. He appeared to fail to express sympathy for Epstein's alleged victims and said he didn't regret his friendship with the sex offender.

His response to Mrs Giuffre's accusations was widely seen as inconsistent. At first, he said that he had an alibi on the day the alleged sexual intercourse with Giuffre occurred in London. Then he said he had no recollection of meeting the woman. When pressed about a photo showing the two together with Prince Andrew's arm around Mrs Giuffre's waist, Andrew said: "nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored".

Prince Andrew's statements in the BBC interview have been harshly criticised by the media and the public, prompting the royal to step down from his duties. He was ditched by patronages and major companies that had been working with him. He also became a family pariah, with Buckingham Palace airbrushing him from photos of the events the Royal Family attended, including his daughter's wedding.

Reports say that the 61-year-old is keen to rehabilitate his image, however, royal insiders suggest "The Firm" doesn't want Andrew to return to public life.
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