Prince Andrew amassed a £10m ($12m) war chest for a reported attempt to cancel his deal with Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffrewho alleged that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17.
british newspaper the Sun said that Andrew is funding the renewed effort in part with his inheritance from his mother, the Queen, who died in September.
A royal source told the Sun“Andrew was pressured to settle the matter to avoid eclipsing the platinum jubilee and paid a heavy price, personally and professionally.
“The King is happy that he is continuing this. As Head of State he cannot support him publicly, but Andrew is still his brother and he wants the best for him.
Andrew reportedly finally struck a deal to sell his Swiss chalet for £10m last year, and the Sun says the queen left him “several million”.
It is supported by an interview in prison with Ghislaine Maxwell, in which she said she thought the photo of Andrew with his arm around Giuffre, with Maxwell smiling in the background, was fake, a claim Andrew has long clung to.
Maxwell told documentary filmmaker Daphne Barak: “I have no memory of them meeting. And I don’t think that image is real. It’s a fake. I don’t believe that’s real for a second, in fact, I’m sure it isn’t. There was never an original, there is no photograph.
Andrew, 62, is also reportedly asking his brother the King for permission to resume using his HRH title as he seeks to rehabilitate his image.
Andrew was effectively fired from the ranks of the working Royal Family by his mother in one of her last acts as Queen. However, he reportedly feels he was “pushed” to step aside and settle down with Giuffre by those who didn’t want the affair to overshadow the Platinum Jubilee celebrations last year.
The terms of the settlement remained secret, but it was widely reported that he paid around $14 million to settle with Giuffre but did not admit guilt.
Andrew has always claimed, in private, that the photo was fake and although he wasn’t so outspoken in his public statements, he strongly hinted as much to Emily Maitlis in a disastrous BBC. Newsnight interview.
He said: “From the investigations that we have carried out, you cannot prove whether this photograph is faked or not, because it is a photograph of a photograph of a photograph… No one can prove whether or not this photograph was doctored, but I don’t recall this photo ever being taken.
Sources close to Giuffre’s legal team admitted to the Daily Beast last year that Giuffre had lost the photo, saying they didn’t even know if the original of the photo “still existed”, and adding, “The photo is not in Virginia’s possession.”
The photo was lost after it was apparently stuffed into one of several storage boxes and shipped from Colorado to Sydney when Giuffre moved to Australia, sometime between 2011 and 2016.
However, the location of the original was not considered critical by Giuffre’s legal team as the provenance of the copies made of it was clearly established. The lawsuit sought to admit a reproduction of the widely circulated copy of the photo first published by the Mail on Sunday.
This “copy” was a photo of the original photo, taken by a New Zealand freelance photojournalist in 2011.
Photographer Michael Thomas previously told The Daily Beast he believed the photograph to be genuine, saying: “In the end, I just copied a photo.”
“Copying” a photograph by taking a picture of it is a standard newsgathering technique to obtain an image without requiring the owner to give up the original.
The legal source added to The Daily Beast at the time that they did not believe failure to produce an original of the photograph would affect the photo’s admissibility as evidence and said they believed it would not. would not be “productive” for Andrew challenge the authenticity of the image, adding: “It would destroy their credibility. Even Andrew in that BBC interview didn’t say it was wrong.
The source added, “The photo doesn’t show them having sex. But it shows they were together. It shows they met. The more he fights about this photo, the more he points to the fact that the real credibility issue for him now is whether he’s ever met her. It’s a losing battle for him.
Sleuths Online have pointed out that Giuffre appears to be wearing the exact same set of clothes in the photo with Andrew as in a photo of her at a party to celebrate Naomi Campbell’s birthday.