What now for Prince Andrew as his sex case accuser Virginia Roberts admits she ‘may have made a mistake’ in claiming she slept with US lawyer Alan Dershowitz? Expert says it’s ‘too early’ to tell how case will affect Duke’s rehabilitation hopes
- Virginia Roberts dropped defamation case she brought against Alan Dershowitz
- She ‘may have made a mistake’ in claim that she was forced to have sex with him
- Ms Roberts claimed she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew three times when she was 17 at Epstein’s bidding
- A royal expert has said that ‘it is too early to tell’ if Ms Roberts dropping her case against Mr Dershowitz might help the Duke of York
A royal expert has said that ‘it is too early to tell’ if Virginia Roberts dropping her case against Alan Dershowitz might help Prince Andrew.
The Duke’s accuser sensationally admitted that she ‘may have made a mistake’ by claiming that she was forced to have sex with a high profile lawyer.
Virginia Roberts said she was ‘very young’ and in a ‘very stressful and traumatic environment’ when she was around Jeffrey Epstein which led her to wrongly identify Alan Dershowitz.
On Tuesday she dropped a defamation case she brought against Mr Dershowitz in 2019 with no financial payment made to either side.
The extraordinary development comes months after Ms Roberts settled a civil claim with the Duke of York for a reported $12million.
Ms Roberts claimed she was forced to have sex with the Duke three times when she was 17 at Epstein’s bidding — allegations which have been denied by the Duke.
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline: ‘It is too early to tell if her dropping of the case against Dershowitz might help Andrew if he attempts to rehabilitate his reputation in the future.
‘He has no public support at all at the moment.’
Virginia Roberts dropped a defamation case on Tuesday she brought against attorney Alan Dershowitz in 2019 with no financial payment made to either side
A royal expert has said that ‘it is too early to tell’ if Virginia Roberts dropping her case against Alan Dershowitz might help Prince Andrew
Ms Roberts said she was ‘very young’ and in a ‘very stressful and traumatic environment’ when she was around Jeffrey Epstein which led her to wrongly identify Alan Dershowitz.
Ms Roberts claimed she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew three times when she was 17 at Jeffrey Epstein’s bidding
Mr Fitzwilliams added: ‘[Prince Andrew’s] friendship with the deceased paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and with the convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, his catastrophic interview on Newsnight and his failure to help the FBI in its investigations to track Epstein’s accomplices have led to his stepping down from all royal duties in disgrace.
‘The photograph of him with Virginia Roberts and Ghislaine Maxwell has never been explained.
‘Virginia Roberts did not sign a non-disclosure agreement and might write her story about the case.’
Mr Dershowitz was among the other high profile men that Ms Roberts claimed she was ‘loaned out’ to at Epstein’s command.
She sued the 84-year-old Harvard law professor in a court in New York for defamation in 2019 and he strongly and vehemently denied the allegations.
Mr Dershowitz, who has represented OJ Simpson and was a lawyer for Epstein who negotiated his 2009 sweetheart plea deal, has become a strong critic of the MeToo movement and wrote a book called ‘Guilt by Association’ criticising it.
In a statement at the conclusion of the case, Ms Roberts, 38, who now lives in Australia and goes by her married name Giuffre, said: ‘I have long believed that I was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to Alan Dershowitz.
‘However, I was very young at the time, it was a very stressful and traumatic environment, and Mr. Dershowitz has from the beginning consistently denied these allegations.
‘I now recognize I may have made a mistake in identifying Mr. Dershowitz. This litigation has been very stressful and burdensome for me and my family, and we believe it is time to bring it to an end and move on with our lives’.
The case had been due to go to trial next year and would have been the first time that Ms Roberts would have faced questioning in a court of law about any of her claims.
Her claims were used in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell for recruiting and trafficking underage girls for Epstein last year, which resulted in a conviction and 20 year sentence.
The Duke of York was photographed with his arm around the bare waist of then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts. In the background, Ghislaine Maxwell. Roberts claims she was forced to have sex with the royal three times
In a statement, Mr Dershowitz said he was ‘gratified’ that the lawsuit had ended.
He said: ‘As I have said from the beginning, I never had sex with Ms. Giuffre. I have nevertheless come to believe that at the time she accused me she believed what she said.
‘Ms. Giuffre is to be commended for her courage in now stating publicly that she may have been mistaken about me.
‘She has suffered much at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein, and I commend her work combatting the evil of sex trafficking’.
Roberts’s lawyer David Boies said in a statement that the conclusion of the case meant all parties can ‘move on’.
He said: ‘I know that Alan Dershowitz has suffered greatly from the allegation of sexual abuse made against him – an allegation that he has consistently, and vehemently, denied.
‘I also know that this litigation has imposed, and continues to impose, a significant burden on Ms. Giuffre’.
A spokesman for Prince Andrew declined to comment on the case.
Ms Roberts sued Mr Dershowitz for defamation for calling her a liar about her allegations.
In her civil complaint she said: ‘During the time period that Roberts was being trafficked by Epstein she was forced to have sex with Alan Dershowitz.
‘Roberts was forced to engage in sexual acts with Dershowitz in, among other locations, Epstein’s (New York) mansion’.
Ms Roberts went on to claim that ‘from the beginning, Dershowitz and Epstein have sought to hide their crimes behind a curtain of lies’.
She claimed: ‘Only a person seeking to conceal improper conduct would have engaged in the pattern of lies which has characterized Dershowitz’s statements since his sex trafficking was revealed’
In a statement, Mr Dershowitz said he was ‘gratified’ that the lawsuit had ended. ‘As I have said from the beginning, I never had sex with Ms. Giuffre. I have nevertheless come to believe that at the time she accused me she believed what she said’
In a joint statement by all parties, they said: ‘The resolution does not involve the payment of any money by anyone or anything else.
Maxwell is currently appealing her conviction and could cite the Dershowitz case as evidence that Ms Roberts’s claims should be reevaluated by an appeal court.
Ms Roberts also sued her for defamation in 2016 in a case that was settled by Maxwell.
In a deposition for that case she claimed she remembered having sex with Mr Dershowitz on a plane.
She also claimed to have been loaned out to former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and billionaire investor Glenn Dubin, who have both denied wrongdoing.
Appearing on the Megyn Kelly show on Sirius XM, Mr Dershowitz said: ‘As far as I’m concerned the matter is now resolved and we can all go on living our lives, me with a clean record.’
He called the agreed statements by all parties ‘pretty darn good.’
Mr Dershowitz added that Ms Roberts’ claims were a ‘terrible mistake that caused me a lot of grief’ but now he wanted to ‘wish her well’.
Ms Roberts’ claims against Prince Andrew forced him to retreat from public life.
He was stripped of his military titles and his patronages of dozens of charities and reportedly cried when told by King Charles that there was no way back for him.
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