The stunning guilty verdict against Ghislaine Maxwell Wednesday bodes ill for her good friend Prince Andrew’s chances of beating the rap in the case being brought against him by Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre, sources in Giuffre’s camp have told The Daily Beast.
A source close to Andrew, however, have insisted that the crushing verdict, which will likely see Maxwell jailed for decades, “shouldn’t affect the prospects of Andrew’s case at all.” Indeed, according to the Mirror, while Andrew’s lawyers are “locked in emergency talks” following the Maxwell verdict, they appear more bullishly determined than ever, the outlet says, to paint Giuffre herself as a key enabler of the abuse Epstein oversaw.
Reinforcing claims made previously to The Daily Beast about Andrew feeling “optimistic” ahead of a motion to dismiss the case which will be heard next week, one source said of the motion: “Andrew has great arguments and likes his chances.”
However a Giuffre source told The Daily Beast: “This verdict obviously makes his case a lot more difficult. His argument is essentially the same as Maxwell’s—that these young women made it all up for money, and they were all just friends and there wasn’t any sex trafficking and the girls who are making these claims are liars and gold diggers. It’s all the same, blame-the-victim defense. This verdict demonstrates that you can’t obscure the overwhelming amount of evidence by these smokescreens, and that jurors are not prepared to blame the victim.”
Giuffre is suing Andrew and alleges that she was sex trafficked to him by Epstein. Andrew strongly denies the allegation and has said he has no recollection of ever meeting Giuffre, despite the widely circulated photograph of him with his arm around her waist when she was a teenager.
“This can’t be good for Andrew,” the Giuffre source continued. “But it’s hard to know what he takes on board and what he doesn’t. No sane person would have gone on television the way he did and just denied that photographic evidence, and shown a total lack of remorse.”
Despite the attempts by Andrew’s camp to send business-as-usual signals, there is no doubt that the penumbra of Maxwell’s overwhelming guilt is the worst possible light to illuminate Andrew’s crunch court date next week, in which he will try to get Giuffre’s case dismissed.
Andrew’s lawyer, Andrew B. Brettler, has also filed a motion saying that her federal case against the prince should be halted because, they argue, she is domiciled in Australia.
But sources in Giuffre’s camp have dismissed this as “pretty desperate stuff.”
The Giuffre source said: “The question is not whether she lives in America or not, the question is whether she maintained a connection to Colorado. She clearly does, she has a Colorado driver’s license for example.”
Giuffre is also registered to vote in Colorado, however Andrew’s legal papers filed this week alleged this was “suspicious” saying: “It appears that prior to filing this action, but well after she returned to Australia, Ms. Giuffre registered to vote for the first time in Colorado using her mother’s home address in Penrose. The timing of Ms. Giuffre’s voter registration is suspicious and appears to be a calculated move in an effort to support her specious claim of citizenship in Colorado despite having moved to Australia at least a year (if not four years) earlier.”
“This is pretty desperate stuff, it shows the lack of confidence they have in their other arguments. This is a silly argument. This is not a serious argument. I don’t think they have anything.”
— Giuffre source
A source in Giuffre’s camp said her team were well aware of Giuffre’s living arrangements, adding: “This is pretty desperate stuff, it shows the lack of confidence they have in their other arguments. This is a silly argument. This is not a serious argument. I don’t think they have anything.”
However Andrew’s camp retaliated by pouring scorn on claims that their latest move was not well grounded, ridiculing as insubstantial claims by Giuffre’s side that factors such as her having a Colorado driving license demonstrated that she had maintained a connection to the state.
In advance of next week’s hearing, the court has ordered that the terms of a settlement between Epstein and Giuffre in 2009 be made public. Brettler has consistently argued that the terms of that settlement release Andrew from all legal jeopardy.
The Giuffre camp are taking the potential impact of the 2009 settlement much more seriously than the argument about domicile, which can be opaque.
“If you rank their arguments, I think that their worst argument is that she doesn’t live in America. It’s silly. Their best is the 2009 settlement. It’s not a very good one, but it is the best they have got,” the source said, “The release is not a silly argument. It’s not sound—but it’s the kind of argument that lawyers like to make.”
The Giuffre source said that Giuffre had been preoccupied with the Ghislaine Maxwell trial.
“Like most of the survivors she is very focused on the Maxwell trial. She is a very courageous and determined young woman [who has been] the subject of numerous attacks by wealthy and politically influential people. She has stood up remarkably well.”
Although Giuffre was not called as a witness in Maxwell’s trial, her lawyer David Boies told The Daily Beast: “This is a great result. It is a great day for Virginia and for all of Epstein and Maxwell’s survivors. It is also a great day for justice and the justice system. The jury’s verdict vindicates the courage and commitment of all the survivors of Epstein and Maxwell, who against great odds for many years, stood up to bring them to justice. This is their verdict, this is their victory.”
A spokesperson for Prince Andrew declined to comment.