Witness claiming Andrew was in nightclub with accuser prepared to give evidence

The Duke of York has been stripped of his remaining patronages and honorary military roles.

Tony Jones
Wednesday 19 January 2022 15:36
The Duke of York ahead of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle, Berkshire (Chris Jackson/PA)
The Duke of York ahead of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle, Berkshire (Chris Jackson/PA)

A woman who claims she saw the Duke of York with his accuser in a London nightclub is willing to give evidence in the civil sexual assault case against him, her lawyer has reportedly said.

Shukri Walker alleges she was in Tramp nightclub in 2001 and saw the Queen’s son with Virginia Giuffre and his friend Ghislaine Maxwell.

Ms Giuffre is suing the duke for damages in her home country of the US, claiming she was trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein Andrew’s friend and a convicted sex offender, to have sex with the royal when she was 17 and minor under US law.

Virginia Giuffre is suing the Duke of York (Crime+Investigation screengrab/PA)

The duke is also alleged to have sexually abused Ms Giuffre during a visit to Epstein’s private island, Little St James, and on a separate occasion at the financier’s Manhattan mansion.

Andrew has denied all the allegations.

His accuser’s legal team has already made requests for witness accounts from a number of individuals including Ms Walker and Andrew’s former equerry Robert Olney.

Lisa Bloom, who is representing Ms Walker, said in a statement reported by a number of papers: “I am proud to represent Shukri Walker, who has bravely stepped forward as a witness and encourages others who may have information to do so as well.

“She is willing to do the deposition Giuffre’s team is seeking.”

Andrew appeared on Newsnight in an attempt to draw a line under the Epstein scandal (Neil Hall/PA)

In another development, the Duke of Cambridge faced a question about his uncle when he visited London’s Foundling Museum with his wife to learn more about the care sector.

A broadcast journalist from Sky asked William “Do you support Andrew?” as the couple left, but he did not respond.

Andrew’s much anticipated appearance on BBC’s Newsnight in November 2019 was an attempt to defend his reputation in the wake of the Epstein sex scandal, but he opened himself up to further accusations with critics saying he failed to show remorse for the financier’s victims.

The duke denied he slept with Ms Giuffre, on three separate occasions when questioned by Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis, saying one alleged encounter did not happen as he had taken his daughter Princess Beatrice to Pizza Express in Woking for a party and they spent the rest of the day together.

The same sexual encounter, which the American said began with the royal sweating heavily as they danced at Tramp nightclub, was factually wrong as the duke said he had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.

Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of helping to procure teenage girls for Jeffrey Epstein (Chris Ison/PA)

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey has said the civil sex case risks overshadowing the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee being celebrated this year.

The politician told LBC that Andrew had “caused enormous challenges for the royal family in a year when we should be celebrating the extraordinary service of Her Majesty the Queen as she reaches her Platinum Jubilee”.

Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and a friend of Andrew, was convicted in the US on December 29 of procuring teenage girls for Epstein to abuse and will be sentenced this summer.

The Queen has stripped Andrew of his remaining patronages and honorary military roles as the monarchy distanced itself from the duke ahead of potentially damaging developments in the lawsuit which is scheduled to go to trial in the autumn.

Screenshot of the Duke of York’s Twitter account, which has been deleted (Twitter/PA)

Andrew’s public life as a royal is effectively over and evidence of this came in the deletion of his Twitter account.

The duke’s official @TheDukeOfYork handle now features a blank page and the message “This account doesn’t exist”.

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