Prince Andrew has sued a civil trial over Virginia Giuffre’s claims that Jeffrey Epstein forced her to have sex with him three times when she was just 17
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Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre will want to paint one another in a “bad light” in a battle to “emotionally sway” jurors during a civil trial, according to a lawyer.
Alan Collins, from the Cardiff-based law firm Hugh James, said the decision to go to trial was “high risk” for both the Duke of York and Ms Giuffre.
I have added that it’s likely the legal teams on both sides have made a “tactical” decision in a bid to force the other party to settle.
Ms Giuffre is suing Prince Andrew over claims paedophile Jeffrey Epstein forced her to have sex with the royal on three occasions when she was just 17.
The Duke of York yesterday demanded a trial, while rejecting Ms Giuffre’s allegations.
Mr Collins, who previously represented many of Jimmy Savile’s victims, told The Mirror: “Both sides have asked for a jury trial. I assume (they) are doing so tactically thinking that the jury is more likely to be emotionally swayed than a judge.
“It is risky for both. A jury could take a dislike to them and not the other party. Virginia Giuffre might think a jury will be repulsed by the whole miserable and repulsive story and sympathize with her.
“Prince Andrew might fear ‘guilt’ by association with (Jeffrey) Epstein and (Ghislaine) Maxwell, and so will want to paint Ms Giuffre in a bad light.
“It’s high risk for both and it’s probably tactical to force (the) other (side) to settle.”
Mr Collins said Prince Andrew will not be forced to travel to New York for the trial and could appear via video link.
I have added: “ This is not a criminal case. It is not about guilt or innocence, although that is the subtext.
“It’s about whether Prince A did the wrongs complained of. If the jury finds against him then the proverbial will hit the fan and goodness where that will take him.”
Mr Collins also shared his thoughts on why Prince Andrew’s legal team had put forward a ‘consent’ defence, despite the royal’s claims he did not have sex with Ms Giuffre.
It comes after Andrew’s legal team list “consent” and the “doctrine of unclean hands” – which is an allegation that Giuffre has acted unethically related to the accusations – among his defenses.
“Giuffre’s alleged causes of action are barred in whole or in part by her own wrongful conduct,” they wrote.
Mr Collins said: “In criminal law children cannot consent to sex. In civil law it is a question of fact.
“What I think Prince Andrew’s lawyers are arguing is that Ms Giuffre’s at the time was consenting to all that was taken place at Epstein’s, and she was involved.
“Therefore she cannot complain many years later that what took place was non-consensual.
“People struggle to understand that if Prince Andrew is saying nothing happened how can he raise consent?
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“This is missing the point. The issue is deeper than that and maybe part of the overall strategy to paint her Ms Giuffre in a bad light – a very bad one.”
Mr Collins’ analysis comes after Prince Andrew officially denied a catalog of sex abuse allegations brought by Ms Giuffre to a US court.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.