Prince Andrew faces being questioned for up to two days by Virginia Giuffre’s legal team.
Giuffre – who was formerly known as Virginia Roberts – has accused convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein – who took his own life in August 2019 – and his one-time girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell of arranging and forcing her into having sex with the Duke of York in 2001 and as part of the civil case, the 61-year-old prince will sit for a deposition in London before the 14 July deadline set by the judge.
Her attorney, David Boies suggested the questioning under oath would be “a little uncomfortable” for Andrew, who has insisted he did nothing wrong.
Asked what he is expecting from the meeting – which he said will likely last “a day, or probably two” – David told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: “Somebody who is going to be a little uncomfortable.
“But I’m going to try to get him to understand that this is not going to be combative. Obviously, I’m going to ask him a lot of questions. And although some of the questions may be uncomfortable, I’m not going to be aggressive or in any way offensive to him. I’m going to be very respectful.”
Should the case ultimately go to trial, the 80-year-old lawyer “doesn’t think we would need” either Andrew’s ex-wife and close confidante Sarah Ferguson, or their daughters Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie to testify.
He added: “I don’t think Prince Andrew will call them either.”
And although conversations Andrew has had with his mother Queen Elizabeth “could be used” as evidence, David admitted it is unlikely.
He explained: “It’s hard to get at those, because he’s probably not going to admit to them, and we’re not going to depose her. So while those conversations are fair game, on a practical level we’re probably not going to get at them.”
The prince has insisted he has no recollection of ever meeting Virginia and last week said he “lacks sufficient information to admit or deny” whether a photo of him with his arm around her waist Exists”.
And David admitted his client will not want to settle the case if Andrew continues his denial – unless an offered sum of money was large enough to be “a vindication”.
He said: “We would be unlikely to settle in a situation in which somebody just handed over a cheque.
So if Prince Andrew maintains, ‘I’ve never heard of this person’, ‘I don’t know who she is’, ‘The photographs are fake’, then I don’t think we would settle on that basis.
“That said, if you had a settlement that was large enough to be, in effect, a vindication, then it’s something we would obviously look at.”
Adele has reportedly pulled out of performing live at the Brit Awards.
The Easy On Me hitmaker – who indefinitely delayed her Las Vegas residency earlier this month – was planning to take to the stage for the event at London’s O2 Arena on 8 February but has left organisers with a “massive headache” after she told them she’ll no longer make the ceremony, though it is still possible she could sing for fans via a video link.
A source told The Sun on Sunday newspaper: “Adele was confirmed to perform on the night, but has now pulled out — which has been a massive blow for the organisers.
“They are talking to her team to see if she can appear by videolink.
“It’s a massive headache but they want her involved in any way she will agree.”
Adele is also nominated for four awards at the event – including the prestigious Artist of the Year accolade – and so now Brits bosses will need to find someone to accept any prizes she wins on her behalf.
The insider added: “They also now have to find someone to accept her awards — should she win.
“And several big names have already said no.
“Names already mentioned include Sam Smith, and even Ed Sheeran and Dua Lipa — who are both up against Adele for awards — but they are all looking unlikely. They have also made an approach to Stormzy, in the hope that they can persuade him.”
It is believed the 33-year-old star pulled out of the show because her team were concerned about a backlash following her decision to delay her US shows at the last minute.
The source said: “It seems there were concerns of another backlash if she’d performed on the Brits so soon after calling off her Vegas shows last-minute.
“That decision has understandably caused a great deal of disappointment and, in the wake of that, Adele and her team decided to call off her Brits performance.”
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