Lawyer up. Meghan Markle and Prince Andrew could find themselves in court soon if the Duchess of Sussex is asked to testify in the Duke of York’s sexual assault case.
In an interview with The Daily Beast on December 21, 2021, David Boies—the attorney representing Virginia Roberts Giuffre in a civil lawsuit accusing Prince Andrew of sexual assault when she was 17—claimed that Meghan (whose husband, Prince Harry, is Prince Andrew’s nephew) could be called to testify in his case.
“One; she is in the U.S. so we have jurisdiction over her,” Boies said. “Two; she is somebody who obviously, at least for a period of time, was a close associate of Prince Andrew and hence is in a position to perhaps have seen what he did, and perhaps if not to have seen what he did to have heard people talk about it. Because of her past association with him, she may very well have important knowledge, and will certainly have some knowledge.” He continued, “Three; she is somebody who we can count on to tell the truth. She checks all three boxes.”
Boies also noted that other members of the British royal family, such as Prince Charles (Prince Andrew’s older brother) and Sarah Ferguson (Prince Andrew’s ex-wife) could also be asked to testify to his character. “We would likely take one or two depositions of people close to Andrew who would have knowledge of his actions,” he said. “That might include his ex-wife. It could possibly be his brother.” Boies, however, confirmed that Prince Andrew’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, would likely not be called upon “out of respect and deference, and her age.”
In her lawsuit against Prince Andrew, Giuffre claims she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York three times between 1999 and 2002 in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by Jeffrey Epstein, who died in August 2019 while in prison on sex trafficking charges. In an interview with BBC in 2019, Prince Andrew addressed his relationship with Epstein and a photo of him with his arm around Giuffre. (The photo is believed to be taken inside the home of Ghislaine Maxwell n March 10, 2001, when Giuffre was 17 years old.)
“I don’t remember that photograph ever being taken,” he said at the time. “I don’t remember going upstairs in the house because that photograph was taken upstairs and I am not entirely convinced that…I mean that is…that is what I would describe as me in that…in that picture but I can’t…we can’t be certain as to whether or not that’s my hand on her whatever it is, left… left side.” After he received backlash for the interview, Prince Andrew announced that he would be “stepping back” from royal duties.
According to People, Giuffre against Prince Andrew (who has denied the assault claims) is ongoing, with the Duke of York’s team expected to argue their motion to dismiss the case on January 4, 2021. The magazine also reports that a rep for Meghan declined to comment on Giuffre’s lawyer possibly asking her to testify.
For more about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, read Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s New York Times bestseller, Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family. The book tells all on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s relationship—from their wedding and how they met, to the birth of their first son, Archie. Finding Freedom also dives into the “true story” of why Harry and Meghan left the royals at the end of 2019 and moved to the United States amid their drama with their family. Consisting of interviews and accounts with Harry and Meghan’s closest confidants, Finding Freedom is a must-read for any royal follower.
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