Duchess of York seen with her daughters and their husbands in Swiss ski resort 1

Duchess of York seen with her daughters and their husbands in Swiss ski resort

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Prince Andrew’s family put on a united front as they were spotted for the first time since the conviction of the Duke of York’s close friend Ghislaine Maxwell for sex trafficking.

The Duchess of York linked arms with her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie and their husbands Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Jack Brooksbank as they took a stroll in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier.

The five appeared to be in good spirits despite the growing scandal surrounding the Duke of York’s association with sex trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre.

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Prince Andrew's family put on a united front as they were spotted for the first time since the conviction of the Duke of York's close friend Ghislaine Maxwell for sex trafficking. The Duchess of York linked arms with her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie and their husbands Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Jack Brooksbank as they took a stroll in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier

Prince Andrew’s family put on a united front as they were spotted for the first time since the conviction of the Duke of York’s close friend Ghislaine Maxwell for sex trafficking. The Duchess of York linked arms with her daughters Beatrice and Eugenie and their husbands Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Jack Brooksbank as they took a stroll in the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Verbier

The five (left to right, Edo, Beatrice, Duchess of York, Eugenie and Jack), appeared to be in good spirits despite the growing scandal surrounding the Duke of York's association with sex trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre

The five (left to right, Edo, Beatrice, Duchess of York, Eugenie and Jack), appeared to be in good spirits despite the growing scandal surrounding the Duke of York’s association with sex trafficking victim Virginia Giuffre

Prince Andrew is pictured with the Duchess and their children in Verbier back in 2001

Prince Andrew is pictured with the Duchess and their children in Verbier back in 2001

The Yorks are believed to have thrown a New Year’s Eve party and invited some of their many friends who visit the luxury Swiss resort every year.

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The family are understood to have flown out to Switzerland on Boxing Day while Prince Andrew remained at his Royal Lodge home inside the Queen’s Windsor estate.

The Duchess declined to comment about recent events when approached in the street.

The 62-year-old said simply: ‘We are on a family holiday.’

The Duchess is said to be very happy to have been able to spend time with her grandchildren – Eugenie’s son August, and Beatrice’s daughter Sienna, who are both on holiday with their parents.

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The Duke of York is believed to have held crisis meetings with his legal team following Maxwell’s guilty verdict for sex trafficking on Wednesday night following her New York City trial.

Prince Andrew was seen for the first time on Friday since his friend Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of child sex trafficking

Prince Andrew was seen for the first time on Friday since his friend Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of child sex trafficking

Meanwhile, Virginia Giuffre – the woman who claims she was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew when she was 17 – could be set to give a victim impact statement to a New York judge for the sentencing of Ghislaine Maxwell.

The British socialite was this week convicted of multiple counts of child sex trafficking for her billionaire paedophile boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein.

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Although a number of accusers did not give evidence at the trial, the women will instead be given the chance to make a statement to Judge Alison Nathan, according to the Telegraph.

One of them is said to be Ms Giuffre – known before her marriage as Virginia Roberts – who alleges having sex with Andrew three times in 2001, at a time when she was a teenager and under the control of Epstein. The Prince has denied the claims.

Victim impact statements are testimonies presented to the court which outline the effects of an offender’s actions. 

While guidelines and reports are what are primarily used to determine the length of sentence, a judge should also consider victim impact statements.

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Sigrid McCawley, who represents Ms Giuffre, told the paper: ‘At the sentencing, I anticipate that there will be a lot of testimony from many, many other women who were not able to be heard at the trial, who will come forward and bring information about their suffering at the hands of Ghislaine Maxwell.

‘I believe this will be considered by the court before Judge Nathan renders her decision on the length of time Ghislaine will serve behind bars.’ 

Virginia Giuffre - the woman who claims she was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew when she was 17 - could be set to give a victim impact statement to a New York judge for the sentencing of Ghislaine Maxwell. She is pictured with her lawyer, David Boies

Virginia Giuffre – the woman who claims she was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew when she was 17 – could be set to give a victim impact statement to a New York judge for the sentencing of Ghislaine Maxwell. She is pictured with her lawyer, David Boies 

Andrew admits he has no proof over infamous claim he can’t sweat 

Prince Andrew suffered a setback in his US sex case, after admitting he has no proof over his infamous claim he cannot sweat and also seeing the judge throw out an attempt to stall the case.

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Lawyers for his accuser, who is suing the prince for damages in a New York civil case, have demanded he hand over evidence he does not perspire, as he said in a car crash Newsnight interview two years ago when denying her allegations.

But his legal team said ‘no documents exist in his possession, custody or control’ to back the claim.

It comes amid claims that Buckingham Palace ‘sleepwalked’ into the Prince Andrew crisis and has been paralysed with indecision over to how to handle things.

Senior royal insiders said the duke operated with ‘impunity’ as a member of the Royal Family because staff were ‘too scared’ to stand up to him.

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And they say the idea he could still return to public life, despite the swirling controversy around his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, must be quashed.

The comments came as Andrew suffered two setbacks in his US sex case, admitting he has no proof over his infamous claim he cannot sweat and also seeing the judge throw out an attempt to stall the case.

Lawyers for his accuser, who is suing the prince for damages in a New York civil case, have demanded he hand over evidence he does not perspire, as he said in a car crash Newsnight interview two years ago when denying her allegations.

But his legal team said ‘no documents exist in his possession, custody or control’ to back the claim.

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Furthermore, the Duke revealed he was also unable to put forward any witnesses to corroborate his claim that he was at Pizza Express in Woking on the night it’s alleged he slept with Miss Giuffre.

And the judge denied Andrew’s requests to delay the case after he claimed Miss Giuffre cannot sue in the US on the grounds that she lives in Australia.

The prince was seen in public yesterday for the first time since his friend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted of multiple counts of child sex trafficking for her boyfriend Epstein, driving himself to Windsor Castle.

The prince was seen in public yesterday for the first time since his friend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted of multiple counts of child sex trafficking for her boyfriend Epstein, driving himself to Windsor Castle. Pictured: Prince Andrew and Maxwell in 2000 at Ascot

The prince was seen in public yesterday for the first time since his friend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted of multiple counts of child sex trafficking for her boyfriend Epstein, driving himself to Windsor Castle. Pictured: Prince Andrew and Maxwell in 2000 at Ascot

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Lawyers say Andrew has no witnesses to support claim he was at Pizza Express

The Prince suffered another setback after he revealed he was also unable to put forward any witnesses to corroborate his claim that he was at Pizza Express in Woking on the night it’s alleged he slept with Miss Giuffre.

He said it could not have happened because he spent the day with his daughter. ‘I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at, I suppose, sort of 4pm or 5pm in the afternoon,’ he said. 

When asked why he would remember a meal at Pizza Express 18 years later, he said: ‘Because going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do … I’ve only been to Woking a couple of times and I remember it weirdly distinctly.

‘As soon as somebody reminded me of it, I went, ‘Oh yes, I remember that’. 

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In his Newsnight interview he also told interviewer Emily Maitlis that on the date Miss Giuffre says they slept together in London, he was at a Pizza Express in Woking. He has been told to prove this too.

Miss Roberts, now Giuffre, claims she slept with Andrew three times in 2001, at a time when she was 17 and under the control of Epstein.

The prince vehemently denies the accusations. But pressure has increased on him this week following Maxwell’s conviction.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior former royal adviser stressed that while there was no knowledge of the extent of the duke’s friendship with Epstein and Maxwell to anyone outside of the prince’s private office, the ‘Andrew problem’ was a long-running issue for the royal household in general.

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‘Anyone who even dared to offer their professional advice that maybe his way wasn’t the right one was met with a decisive ‘f*** off out of my office’,’ the source said.

The account is backed up by other former royal staff, all of whom claim the prince acted as if he ‘didn’t have to answer to anyone’ and was allowed to ‘go rogue’.

Particularly troublesome, it was said, was Andrew’s role as a roving trade ‘ambassador’, which saw him repeatedly criticised for cosying up to highly controversial world leaders and businessmen.

A former Buckingham Palace staff member recalled how it was an ‘impossible job’ to persuade the prince or his advisers to take any instruction. ‘The duke made clear that the only person he answered to was the Queen,’ they said.

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‘He wouldn’t take advice from anyone. [He] acted with total impunity and staff were just too scared to stand up to him as a member of the Royal Family. Her Majesty almost always backed him and he fully exploited that.

‘There’s an element of Buckingham Palace sleepwalking into his whole crisis. Andrew would tell his family that it was all untrue and it would all go away.’

Andrew stepped back from official duties following the Newsnight interview.

Pictured: Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2001

Pictured: Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2001

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Prince Andrew stepped back from official duties following the Newsnight interview

Prince Andrew stepped back from official duties following the Newsnight interview

On Tuesday, Andrew will try again to have the case brought by Miss Giuffre thrown out.

But in court papers filed yesterday, her legal team made it clear they would test his Newsnight alibi, when he disputed her claim he was sweating while they danced together in a London nightclub by saying he had a ‘peculiar medical condition’ which made it ‘impossible’ for him to perspire. 

Lawyers want the court to order him to hand over proof about his ‘alleged medical condition of anhidrosis’.

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And they could ask for his former police bodyguards to testify about the duke’s whereabouts at the time Miss Giuffre says they were having sex. Buckingham Palace declined to comment last night.

Q&A 

What is Andrew accused of?

The formal allegations are battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Bringing the New York case under her married name of Giuffre, Virginia Roberts alleges she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 and a ‘sex slave’ to his friend, paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Unlike the Ghislaine Maxwell trial in Manhattan this is a civil case. Miss Roberts is seeking damages, probably totalling millions of pounds. Andrew cannot be jailed.

Where are we at?

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The case was filed in August and is still at the early stages. On Tuesday, the judge will rule on a new Andrew application to dismiss it. If it continues there will be the taking of depositions – formal statement given under oath.

Who could be deposed?

Miss Roberts’ lawyer David Boies has said he will seek to depose the duke and possibly his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, among others. Andrew’s side will depose his accuser and her associates, and perhaps her lawyers.

And then?

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Judge Lewis Kaplan has set a tentative trial date for September, with the case to be decided by a jury made up of a dozen members of the public.

Will Andrew testify?

He can refuse to give a deposition but it could result in a default judgment against him. If he attends the trial, he can decline to give evidence in person, or ‘take the fifth’, refusing to answer questions in order to avoid incriminating himself.

What evidence will be heard?

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Miss Roberts will tell her account and bring witnesses she says back up her claims. It is thought she will use flight logs from Epstein’s private jets showing her being flown to locations she claims to have had sex with the duke. Evidence from Maxwell’s trial could also play a part, including testimony from the victim known only as Carolyn, who says she was pulled into Epstein’s sphere by Roberts herself.

What about the FBI wanting to speak to Andrew?

That is separate from this case. The FBI have been looking to speak to Andrew as a possible witness for at least the last two years as they continue to investigate Epstein’s global sex ring. A request filed with the Home Office under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty is currently gathering dust and has not been actioned.

 

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