Prince Andrew hands back golf club membership as sexual assault trial looms

·2-min read
Prince Andrew has given up his honorary golf club lie membership in the wake of his sexual assault lawsuit in the US (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
Prince Andrew has given up his honorary golf club lie membership in the wake of his sexual assault lawsuit in the US (Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Prince Andrew has given up his honorary golf club life membership in the wake of his sexual assault lawsuit in the US.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews on Friday confirmed the Duke of York, a past captain at the famous club, had stood down.

A spokesperson said in a statement: “I can confirm that The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has received notification that the Duke of York will relinquish his Honorary Membership.

“We respect and appreciate his decision.”

Andrew, 61, is being sued by Virginia Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, for emotional harm and battery.

The 38-year-old alleges she was sex-trafficked by the late convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his associate Ghislaine Maxwell and forced to have sex with the duke on three occasions when she was 17 years old.

The Duke of York has denied any wrongdoing and demanded a trial by jury.

He submitted 11 reasons why the case should be dismissed, including that Ms Giuffre’s claims are “barred by the doctrine of consent” and by “her own wrongful conduct”.

Virginia Giuffre is suing Prince Andrew in the US for emotional harm and battery (AP)
Virginia Giuffre is suing Prince Andrew in the US for emotional harm and battery (AP)

In the court document which communicated his reasons for requesting a dismissal of the case, Andrew’s lawyers concluded: “Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint.”

The Queen has already stripped him of his royal title as well as all his military honours.

And Prince Andrew could be asked to give up his title if he loses the lawsuit, according to reports.

It comes after his former friend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, was found guilty of sex trafficking underage girls in December. She is due to be sentenced in June.

Prince Andrew has been the patron at 24 golf clubs, societies and associations, according to The Telegraph.

Some clubs had already severed ties with the duke, while others decided to remove pictures of him from their clubhouses, the newspaper reported.

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