AGRIM looking Prince Andrew glowered in the back seat of his $110,000 Range Rover Jan. 13. For months he’s been hiding out in his home in Windsor Park as the noose around him tightened.
Things have gone from bad to worse for the disgraced royal. On Jan. 12, a New York City judge ruled that the civil case filed against him by Virginia Giuffre — the woman claiming she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times in 2001 when she was 17 years old, which he has strenuously denied — will proceed, despite last-ditch efforts by Andrew’s legal team to have the suit dismissed. Now, the 61-year-old — who was officially stripped of his military titles and charities by Buckingham Palace a day later — will have to either cough up millions of dollars to settle, or risk having to bare all in a potentially long and scandalous trial.
“Andrew is in a no-win situation,” says an insider. “Either he settles and pays Virginia off, or he goes to court where her lawyers will tear him apart.” According to the insider, royal aides are advising Andrew to pony up — to the tune of $25 million! “They are willing to go that high to get Andrew out of this mess,” says the insider, “before he completely destroys the monarchy’s reputation.”
Andrew is already in dire straits financially. His mother, Queen Elizabeth II, is said to have shelled out the money he needed to repay a $9 million debt on his Swiss ski chalet, which he promptly sold in a desperate bid to pay her back. Then there are his astronomical legal bills to consider. “The Queen is footing the bill,” says an insider. “Andrew is bleeding her dry.”
And with the loss of his royal titles, the 95-year-old matriarch is freezing her supposedly favorite son out. In her shocking announcement, she not only stripped him of his military affiliates and royal patronages, she robbed him of the protection of being royal: “The Duke of York ... is defending this case as a private citizen.”
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