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Prince Andrew may have been pressured by Queen to settle sex case, Jeffrey Epstein’s former lawyer suggests

Alan Dershowitz claims Prince Andrew made a ‘terrible mistake’ in paying millions to settle the Virginia Giuffre case

Andy Gregory
Tuesday 09 January 2024 15:36 GMT
Dershowitz defends Epstein associates ahead of documents release

Jeffrey Epstein’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz has said he suspects Prince Andrew was “pressured by his mother” Queen Elizabeth II to settle the civil sexual assault case against him.

The Duke of York reached a multimillion-pound settlement in February 2022 with Virginia Giuffre, the Epstein victim who accused Andrew of sexually abusing her while she was underage in the United States.

But Mr Dershowitz, who worked for Epstein from 2008, has now claimed that he believes the Duke of York made a “terrible mistake” in paying millions to settle the case.

Alan Dershowitz has suggested Prince Andrew made a ‘terrible mistake’ (AP)

“I think he made a terrible mistake. I suspect he was pressured by his mother to make that mistake,” Mr Dershowitz told Times Radio on Tuesday.

“If he had fought that case, I believe he would have won – I believe the case would have been dismissed on a variety of grounds – but he didn’t want to sit through a deposition, or people around him didn’t want to sit through a deposition, so he settled the case.

“Often you settle cases not because you’re guilty of what you’re charged [with], but because you don’t want to admit other things that you’ve done.”

He added: “I feel sorry for Prince Andrew for this reason; assuming everything they say about him is correct, the woman who accused him was over the age of consent.

“She apparently bragged about it to her friends, and she collected millions and millions of dollars for that... yeah, I feel sorry for him.”

Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre reached a multimillion-pound settlement in 2022 (US Department of Justice/PA)

The allegations levied at Epstein and the paedophile financier’s associates have again come to the fore after a US judge ordered the release of hundreds of court documents relating to a defamation lawsuit brought by Ms Giuffre against Epstein’s former partner and convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, which was settled in 2017.

The trove includes 40 documents of evidence from Johanna Sjoberg, who has claimed that the Duke of York touched her breast while sitting on a couch at Epstein’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.

Further extracts saw arguments resurface from Maxwell’s lawyers, who claimed that Ms Giuffre’s allegations of having sex with Prince Andrew in a bathtub while she was underage were “obvious lies” because the bathtub in question was too small for a man of his size “to enjoy a bath in, let alone sex”.

Documents unsealed on Monday also included emails filed to the court by Mr Dershowitz’s lawyers in an attempt to discredit Epstein accuser Sarah Ransome. These appear to show Ms Ransome claiming to a reporter that Epstein had secretly filmed and kept tapes of Prince Andrew, Bill Clinton and Richard Branson having sex.

All three men reject the claims. A spokesperson for Mr Branson’s Virgin Group said: “Any suggestion that Sir Richard Branson was involved in a ‘sex tape’ is entirely false. The allegations are baseless and unfounded. The actions of Jeffrey Epstein were abhorrent and we support the right to justice for the many victims impacted by his abuse.”

They added: “We categorically reject all allegations made by Sarah Ransome. In 2019 she admitted to The New Yorker that the ‘tapes’ had been ‘invented’.”

Mr Clinton’s spokesperson also directed The Independent to the 2019 New Yorker article, which reported Ms Ransome as saying “she had invented the tapes to draw attention to Epstein’s behaviour” and to make him believe that she had “evidence that would come out if he harmed me”.

But Ms Ransome alleged on Tuesday that her retraction had been in response to threats by Epstein that she and her family “would be harmed”, and claimed she would be willing to testify under oath, as she told ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “There are videos that exist.”

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