Royal Family 'Finds Themselves In An Extraordinarily Difficult & Sensitive Situation' Amid Prince Andrew Scandal, Source Claims
Prince Andrew's brood has yet to say anything about the scandal he is currently embroiled in. Earlier this week, the dad-of-two was sued by Virginia Roberts, who alleged that he raped her three times when she was younger.
Now, it's unclear what will happen next for the disgraced royal.
"The family find themselves in an extraordinarily difficult and sensitive situation given the nature of the allegations," a source told the Daily Mail. "They are limited in what they can say publicly and now that the Duke of York is no longer a working royal they are actually rather limited in what control they can exert over the situation privately."
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In 2019, Prince Andrew spoke out about his friendship with late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and denied any wrongdoing. “I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever," he said of Roberts at the time.
He later stepped down from his royal duties."It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family’s work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support," he stated. "Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."
"I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure," he continued. "I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."
In the lawsuit, which was obtained by The Royal Observer, Roberts claims that the royal "sexually abused Plaintiff in Epstein’s New York mansion in this District."
"On another occasion, Prince Andrew sexually abused Plaintiff on Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Little St. James," the documents state. "During each of the aforementioned incidents, Plaintiff was compelled by express or implied threats by Epstein, [Ghislaine] Maxwell, and/or Prince Andrew to engage in sexual acts with Prince Andrew, and feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew due to their powerful connections, wealth, and authority."
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Nigel Cawthorne, author of Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace, believes Andrew will be stripped of his titles at some point in the future.
"It is very difficult to see how Prince Andrew can return to the frontline of the monarchy while a suit is pending, or with a verdict against him passed in absentia," he said. "There are too many legal questions surrounding the prince, and it is increasingly doubtful that he can hold on to his HRH status."