MP Concerned Public Money Could Have Been Used in Prince Andrew’s Payout to Virginia Giuffre
"This is a person of very high profile involved in a case where his position of authority and privilege has been allegedly abused and it is an enormous sum of money. We don’t know the precise figure but there is a risk that this will be at the public’s expense so we need to have that resolved. We need to know exactly where this money is coming from", the MP said in an interview with the BBC.
Mark Stephens, an international reputation lawyer from the firm Howard Kennedy, said the Duke of York risks doing more "reputational damage" to the British monarchy if he fails to disclose details of where the settlement money comes from.
"I think there’s equal concern that it comes from the royal family and what they want to see is that Andrew is paying out of his own pocket – that he’s personally being financially punished here", Mark Stephens said.
In August, Giuffre filed a civil lawsuit in New York seeking "accountability" from the royal and demanding an unspecified amount in damages from him. His lawyers tried to have the case dismissed, but a US judge ruled that it should go ahead. Reports said that neither of the sides was interested in the settlement – Prince Andrew wanted to clear his name, while Giuffre wanted the case to go to trial.
The Telegraph writes, citing its sources, that the Duke forked out £12 million ($16 million), while other UK media suggested that sum is somewhere between $20-30 million.
It is believed that even the number mentioned by The Telegraph is an insurmountable sum for the Duke of York, who receives a Royal Navy pension and a stipend from the Queen’s Duchy of Lancaster.
UK media previously reported that the Queen is likely to have helped her son foot the bill. The monarch, whose personal fortune is estimated to be some 360 million pounds ($470 million), has several sources of income, the said Duchy of Lancaster and the Sovereign Grant, which is funded by the taxpayers.