Prince Andrew could lose His Royal Highness title in a legal battle with Jeffrey Epstein's accuser, a royal expert says.
The Duke of York was this week sued by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges that he sexually assaulted her when she was 17.
Prince Andrew has previously denied the allegation, but Prince Charles is said to believe that there is "no way back to public life" for his brother.
An American lawyer has warned the 61-year-old could be ordered to pay £14million damages if he were to lose the sex abuse case.
The duke stepped away from duties in 2019 for the "foreseeable future" following his interview with the BBC about his friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein.
Now royal author Nigel Cawthorne told Newsweek that he could lose his HRH title in the wake of the lawsuit.
"Giuffre's lawsuit will preclude a return to public duties," author of Prince Andrew: Epstein, Maxwell and the Palace told the publication.
"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.
Meghan Markle's dad says her 'attacks' on royals are 'embarrassing and unforgivable'
"There are too many legal questions surrounding the prince and it is increasingly doubtful that he can hold on to his HRH status."
The lawsuit accuses the Duke of sexual assault and "intentional" emotional distress while claiming that Ms Giuffre "was a sex-trafficking victim".
A spokeswoman for the duke said there was "no comment" to make when asked to respond to Ms Giuffre's decision to file a civil suit against the Prince.
Meghan Markle's huge net worth boom since marrying Prince Harry stuns royal commentator
Speaking about the allegations in 2019, Prince Andrew, who vehemently denies any wrongdoing, said they "never happened".
He told the BBC: "I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened.
"I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever."
He said in a later statement: "I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.
Queen's 'maternal support' helping Prince Andrew face 'enormous pressures', says expert
To stay up to date with all the latest news, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.
"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.
"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."
Ms Giuffre’s legal team is thought to be seeking punitive damages – restitution that reflects a person’s wealth.
Any damages Andrew would have to pay would effectively have to come from taxpayers as the Sovereign Grant has funded his lifestyle for decades, the Mirror reports.
Source: Read Full Article