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Prince Andrew ‘rushing through sale of £17m Swiss chalet’ as legal bills spiral

Prince Andrew is reportedly attempting to rush through the sale of his £17m Swiss chalet as the bills mount in his legal battle against Virginia Giuffre.

The Duke of York is waiting for a US judge to decide whether to dismiss Ms Giuffre’s civil case against him.

Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit alleges she was forced to have sex with Jeffrey Epstein’s friends when she was 17, including the Duke of York, who denies the claims.

If the case goes ahead, the Queen’s second son will face a full trial before a jury in New York.

According to the Daily Mirror, legal experts believe his accuser could be awarded a settlement of up to £3million if the case does proceed and he loses.

Insiders have suggested settlement still “remains on the table” should Judge Lewis Kaplan reject the duke’s legal team’s motion to have Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit dismissed at an early stage.

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In October, reports claimed the monarch had agreed to pay for her son’s legal defence shortly after his car crash Newsnight interview, in which he addressed his friendship with disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Epstein.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on those reports at the time.

The Mirror has claimed Andrew is now attempting to force through the sale of his £17m Chalet Helora, in the ski resort of Verbier, because the Queen “would not assist” in any further financial settlement to Ms Giuffre over the sex allegations.

Virginia Giuffre arriving at court in New York with her lawyer David Boies in August 2019

(Reuters)

A source told the newspaper: “He is meeting all the costs himself so he needs to raise cash fast to pay bills which are increasing by the day.

“If there was the potential to settle, well, that is an option, but it is in no doubt that the Queen would not assist him in doing so.”

A representative of the duke confirmed the chalet, which he has owned since late 2014 with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, was being sold, but declined to comment further.

Buckingham Palace also declined to comment.

Andrew, 61, has strongly denied the allegations made against him and claims Ms Giuffre is after a “payday at his expense”.

Lawyers for both parties argued during a hearing on Tuesday over whether a $500,000 settlement deal reached between Epstein and Ms Giuffre in 2009 – which was unsealed on Monday – should absolve the duke of liability.

Andrew was not named in the lawsuit, which provided a release for “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant”.

Epstein took his own life in his New York prison cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial for child sex trafficking charges.

He was already a registered sex offender after being found guilty of soliciting a minor for prostitution in 2008.


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