Prince Andrew’s Gilded Cage Closes in as Department of Justice Reiterates Desire to Speak to Disgraced Royal

Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool/Getty Images
Christopher Furlong - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Andrew has abandoned public life, given up trans-Atlantic travel, and spends much of his free time sheltering behind the high walls of various properties owned by his mother, the sovereign, as he attempts to evade scrutiny from U.S. authorities over his links to Jeffrey Epstein, and specific allegations that he raped, on three occasions, the then-17-year-old sex-trafficking victim Virginia Roberts.

For a man once so addicted to leaping on private and commercial jets at the drop of a hat that he was nicknamed “Airmiles Andy,” the shrinking of his world is likely to represent a humiliating and painful reality for Andrew.

It is not, of course, as humiliating as being dragged through the U.S. courts; avoiding that fate is believed to be the specific purpose of Andrew’s remarkably modest and discreet new lifestyle.

However, even on this limited front, it seems that Andrew is set for a long and drawn out war of attrition, with no sign that U.S. authorities have any intention of giving up on their battle to force him to answer questions, on the record and on their terms, as to what exactly he knew about the late financier and his retinue.

There was fresh pressure Monday on Britain to hand Prince Andrew over for questioning.

A U.S. government official told a reporter from British newspaper the Sun: “The U.S. and the U.K. have a close, productive, and resilient law-enforcement and mutual legal assistance relationship. We remain in close contact on many active cases on a daily basis and will continue to seek assistance in criminal matters as we provide similar assistance in return.”

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Although the comment did not mention Andrew by name, the Sun made it clear that the response was given in the context of queries about the queen’s disgraced third child.

The comments clearly show the Department of Justice’s frustration that Andrew has refused to cooperate with them, despite pledging to do so in his notorious BBC interview in November 2019 and in various comments since then.

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Andrew has repeatedly claimed that he has offered to cooperate with the inquiry, however the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York has previously told The Daily Beast that they want to talk to him, but have not been able to.

Watch: Breaking down Virginia Giuffre's sexual abuse lawsuit

That office sought to pile pressure on Andrew this month by reporting that Andrew was a “person of interest” in the Epstein probe and was considered “at least” a witness.

Last year, it was reported that the DOJ had sent a formal document known as a mutual legal assistance request to Britain’s Home Office to try to force Andrew’s cooperation.

So far, Andrew has proved able to shrug off this and other various demands for him to cooperate, including the filing of a civil suit against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre in which she accused him of raping her three times.

A key part of his strategy in recent weeks has been to hide out at various well-defended properties owned by his mother, the queen.

While serving papers on Prince Andrew in person is not a legal necessity, Giuffre’s attorney, David Boies, is suspected to be keen to create a visual narrative of a besieged Andrew.

Having spent time at Balmoral in Scotland earlier in the summer, Andrew, the Sun reported this weekend, is now hiding himself away at Royal Lodge in Windsor to avoid being served documents in the civil case against him, which alleges he raped Roberts Giuffre when she was 17.

Security guards stopped “multiple attempts” by lawyers last week to hand the documents over, the paper said.

The Sun said: “There’s no way he will risk poking his head outside right now. He will stay out of view.”

Prince Andrew Fights to Ensure He Never Has His Day in Court

The Daily Beast exclusively revealed that British media organizations hoping to snap a picture of a disgraced Prince Andrew at Balmoral this month were warned off by the queen’s lawyers. The report stated that the palace was “believed by some journalists to be acting out of an abundance of caution for fear that Boies could stage [a serving of papers] spectacle to humiliate Andrew.”

Andrew is considered unlikely to respond to the civil suit. This could result in a default judgment being entered against him; however legal sources say any penalties would be very hard and likely impossible to enforce.

A spokesperson for Andrew declined to comment to The Daily Beast about the report.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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