PIERS Morgan has warned Prince Andrew “far worse is to come” after the “utter humiliation” of the Queen stripping him of his titles.
The firebrand broadcaster warned the Duke against continuing to “stonewall his way out of accountability” amid growing anger at the Virginia Giuffre sex-assault lawsuit.
Humiliating… Prince Andrew has been stripped of his Royal titles[/caption]
Andrew was tonight stripped of his royal titles and all military honours after a face-to-face showdown with the Queen.
The move comes after Andrew’s lawyers failed to persuade a US judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit against him that accuses him of sexually abusing Ms Giuffre when she was 17— which he vehemently denies.
In a stark tweet, Piers said: “Utter humiliation for Andrew but he only has himself to blame — and far worse is to come if he continues to try to stonewall his way out of any accountability re the serious allegations against him and his relationship with Epstein/Maxwell.”
It is not the first time that the ex-GMB host and Sun columnist has taken a swipe at the royal, mocking Andrew after he will be forced to fight off a sexual assault lawsuit – joking that he has “probably discovered he can sweat”.
In another swipe, Piers said: “Will vile sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell now sing like a canary to avoid spending the rest of her life in prison?” he wondered.
“If she does, there could be a lot of rich, powerful & famous people sweating tonight… and not sweating.”
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A source told the Sun Online tonight that the Duke has vowed to defend himself against the allegation.
They said: “Given the robustness with which Judge Kaplan greeted our arguments, we are unsurprised by the ruling.
“However, it was not a judgement on the merits of Ms Giuffre’s allegations.
“This is a marathon not a sprint and the Duke will continue to defend himself against these claims.”
Andrew had been expected to agree to an out-of-court settlement with Ms Giuffre.
It was understood that he was set to pay £10million from the sale of his Swiss chalet to make this possible.
Legal experts say it is his “least worst option” after a US judge ruled sex abuse claims should be heard in court.
A full civil trial with a jury could see Andrew cross-examined about his sex life, links to Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell and asked exactly what he did to his accuser.
The Duke of York could be asked about the most intimate parts of his body, a lawyer for Epstein’s victims has claimed.
Prince Andrew pictured with sex abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell[/caption]
Sworn statements from ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and daughters Beatrice and Eugenie are a possibility.
But the new statement from our source suggests that at least for the time being the Duke is going to fight it and not settle yet.
Announcing the stripping of Andrew’s title, Buckingham Palace said in a statement this evening: “With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
According to a source, the decision was “widely discussed amongst the royal family” and all of his titles have been returned with immediate effect.
Utter humiliation for Andrew but he only has himself to blame — and far worse
In time they will be redistributed to other family members, according to Royal source.
The Duke has always strenuously denied all allegations made against him, and denied ever meeting his accuse in a car crash interview with the BBC.
During the interview, he also bizarrely claimed that he was medically unable to sweat and that he was at Pizza Express at the time of her claims.
The Duke told Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis being “shot at” during his time serving as a helicopter pilot during the Falklands War caused him to develop a medical condition, anhidrosis.
He claims the “peculiar medical condition” means he couldn’t sweat properly at the time, and could not have “sweated profusely”, as Ms Giuffre claims.
Three choices he faces, none of them good
1. Face accuser in court
FACE Virginia Giuffre in court, “tough it out” and fight to clear his name.
But experts say that strategy is extremely high-risk, pitting a senior royal against a victim of alleged sex abuse in the US court system.
Even if Andrew was determined to challenge Ms Giuffre’s claims — which he firmly denies — the reputational damage could still be immense.
He would very likely be cross-examined via video-link about some extremely personal matters — including his sexual tastes.
2. Offer a cash settlement
SETTLE and offer Virginia Giuffre a lot of money to walk away.
Paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was a close pal of Andrew, paid Giuffre £370,000 for a “non-prosecution agreement”.
Andrew would almost certainly have to pay up to £10million to secure a “no liability” deal.
Even then, there is no guarantee of new deeply damaging material not being made public as negotiations drag on.
Effectively paying off an Epstein victim also means his reputation will never recover.
3. Walk away from the case
REFUSE to engage in the case against him. His accuser would be almost certain to win a judgment by default and damages and costs stretching into millions.
The reputational cost would be far worse to Andrew — as well as provoking the fury of the UK’s most powerful ally.
Andrew is still the subject of a US “mutual legal assistance” request to the UK — filed when it sought to question him in its Epstein probe.
It has been gathering dust but Andrew could now put the Home Office in a tricky position.
His current predicament stems from his controversial friendship with paedophile Epstein, who Ms Giuffre alleges introduced her to the royal.
She accused Jeffrey Epstein of raping her and sued him but reached an out-of-court settlement in 2009 in which she was paid $500,000 (£371,000) in return for dropping the case.
At this stage it’s unclear whether Andrew will give evidence in person, via a video link or refuse to participate.
Virginia claims she was trafficked by sick duo Epstein and Maxwell to be abused by Andrew after meeting him at a nightclub in London.
It is alleged that she was taken back to Maxwell’s townhouse where she was forced to have sex with the Royal, who was at the time aged 41.
Andrew strongly denies all allegations against him and also claims he had no knowledge of any wrongdoing by his pals Maxwell and Epstein.
Prince Andrew with his sex trafficker pal Jeffrey Epstein’[/caption]