Sarah Ferguson says Royal Family ‘moves together as unit’ in difficult times
Sarah Ferguson says royal family 'moves together as a unit'
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Comments made by the Duke of York’s ex-wife, 61, at a recent awards ceremony, claim the Royal Family “get on with it” when faced with difficult challenges. Fergie spoke out amid speculation she could face a subpoena in regards to allegations made by Virginia Giuffre – previously Virginia Roberts – against her ex-husband Prince Andrew.
Ms Giuffre claims the Queen’s son Andrew sexually abused her on three separate occasions when she was 17 — in London, New York and on convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s Caribbean island – allegations which the Duke of york has categorically denied.
Ms Giuffre is seeking unspecified damages from the 61-year-old prince, who has repeatedly denied her claims.
Previously, during a BBC Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis, Andrew claimed he was in Woking, at a Pizza Express restaurant with his daughter Beatrice on the night of the alleged abuse in London.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain at Hello!’s Inspiration Awards in London on Wednesday, Fergie spoke of the tight bond members of the Royal Family share.
She also lavished praise on her former mother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth II.
Sarah said: “She’s such an extraordinary, legendary, iconic monarch that leads by example… at 95-years-old, still carries on.”
She then added: “And, for me, we get on with it and we move together as a unit”.
Fergie, who resides at Windsor’s Royal Lodge with Andrew, could face a subpoena if he fails to get the case brought against him by his accuser thrown out of court.
It comes amid reports that Ms Giuffre’s legal team will “go after people who were with him” on the night of the alleged abuse.
Bradley Simon, a New York based ex-federal prosecutor, warned the Sunday Telegraph: “They’re going to ask for a kitchen sink.
“They’re going to seek every correspondence, phone logs, emails, diaries. They’re going to go after people who were with him. It’s going to be open season.”
According to reports in the Sunday Telegraph, royal insiders fear that involving the Duchess of York in the case would be a “pretty traumatic” process, that Andrew’s lawyers would only ever enter with “due caution”.
The Duke has until October 29 to respond to the claims brought against him by accuser Virginia Giuffre, 38, and a remote hearing is scheduled for November 3.
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US lawyer Andrew B Brettler, who represents the Duke, had argued at a previous hearing that Ms Giuffre had entered a “settlement agreement” with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, which he claims released the Duke from “all potential liability”.
During the first pre-trial hearing of the case last month, Mr Brettler said: “There has been a settlement agreement that the plaintiff has entered into in a prior action that releases the Duke and others from any and all potential liability.”
Newly filed court documents show that Ms Giuffre’s legal team had received permission from Epstein’s estate to pass on the agreement.
Her lawyers asked US District Judge Loretta Preska, who oversees the case, to sign off on the handover, with Ms Giuffre’s lawyer warning that he thinks the document is “irrelevant” to the case against the duke.
David Boies, Virginia Giuffre’s attorney said: “Although we believe that the release is irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew, now that service has been accepted and the case is proceeding to a determination on the merits, we believe that counsel for Prince Andrew have a right to review the release and to make whatever arguments they believe appropriate based on it,”
While Epstein’s estate had consented to Ms Giuffre providing a copy of the confidential agreement, the handover needed to be approved by the judge.
The agreement’s exact wording has not been released as it remains highly confidential and sealed by the court.
In August, Sarah accompanied Andrew to his mother’s Balmoral Estate in Aberdeenshire, where senior members of the Royal Family gathered for the first time since the civil suit was filed.
The Duke of York has since been spotted back at Windsor where he was photographed out horse riding earlier this week.
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