Allegations made by a woman against Prince Andrew claiming that he had sex with her when she was an underage girl must be “presumed” false, says a US lawyer who has also been accused of the same crime.
Alan Dershowitz went on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning to refute claims made by a woman, who has been granted anonymity, that he allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with her in an orgy.
He and the Duke of York were named in a 13-page court document filed in Florida on Tuesday in a case against multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein. The woman claims the incidents occurred on three occasions - in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein between 1999 and 2002.
Prince Andrew: Life in pictures
Prince Andrew: Life in pictures
1/15 Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew, Duke of York arrives at the Royal Albert Hall on 8 November 2014 in London
2/15 Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York (L) speaks to Queen Elizabeth II on the Queens stand during Derby day at the Epsom Derby Festival, in Surrey on 1 June 2013
3/15 Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew with his daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice on the Balcony at Buckingham Palace, 2013
4/15 Prince Andrew
Princess Beatrice (C) poses for photograph with her parents, Britain's Prince Andrew, the Duke York (L) and Sarah Ferguson following her graduation ceremony at Goldsmiths College, in London, 2011
5/15 Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew’s ‘pointless plunge’ down the Shard was the moment to take stock of his usefulness
6/15 Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew is the first royal to take and tweet a selfie
7/15 Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew with Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Al-Khalifa at Royal Ascot in 2010
8/15 Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew with Ilham Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan in 2009
9/15 Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the first day of his state visit to London
10/15 Prince Andrew
Duke of York in his uniform
11/15 Prince Andrew
Britain's Prince Andrew speaks to the press during a meeting with Turkish Businessmen at Ciragan Palace in Istanbul on 26 May 2004
12/15 Prince Andrew
Wearing a traditional Guatemalan ceremonial jacket, Britains Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, turns on the tap innaugurating an irrigation system sponsored by the European community on 7 March 2002 in Nevaj, Guatemala
13/15 Prince Andrew
The newly wed Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and his wife Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, wave to crowds on 23 July 1986 from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London while Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Mother look on
14/15 Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew and Prince Edward with their governess, Lavinia Keppel, at the Children's Book Show in Westminster, London on 7 November 1969
15/15 Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew (bottom left) with his parents Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip and siblings, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and little Prince Edward at Windsor Castle, 1965
Mr Dershowitz, also a former Harvard Law professor, said that because he believed her claims against former president Bill Clinton and himself were untrue, then those against Prince Andrew are considered to be too.
He said live on-air: “My only feeling is that if she has lied about me, and it’s absolutely certain she has, we know she has lied about Bill Clinton and other public figures who she claims to have participated in sexual activities with, so it must be presumed that all of her allegations against Prince Andrew are false as well.”
“I will not rest or stop until the world understands that she deliberately, with the connivance of her lawyers, made up this story,” he added.
Mr Epstein became the subject of criminal proceedings that eventually resulted in 2008 in an 18-month prison sentence for soliciting prostitution with an underage girl after an 11-month police investigation.
The woman making the allegations has issued a statement through her lawyers, saying she was seeking to fight her case with all available recourse as she was “not going to be bullied back into silence”.
She claims she was aged over 16 at the time of the alleged incidents and, under Florida state law, a person is deemed underage if they are under 18, whereas the age of consent in Britain is 16.
A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said yesterday: “This relates to long-standing and ongoing civil proceedings in the United States, to which the Duke of York is not a party.
“As such we would not comment on the detail. However, for the avoidance of doubt, any suggestion of impropriety with under age minors is categorically untrue”.