Prince Andrew is reportedly holding crisis talks with his family and advisers over Virginia Roberts’s sex abuse lawsuit.
According to Daily Mail, royal insiders have claimed there may have been a ‘lack of communication and cohesion’ between Andrew’s UK legal team and newly appointed US lawyer about how to move forwards.
And there is apparently deep concern at the way the duke’s well-paid advisers on both sides of the Atlantic have been ‘outwitted and out-played’ at every turn in recent days by David Boies, the attorney employed by his accuser Virginia Roberts, now Giuffre.
Their attempts to avoid even having papers officially served have been both a legal and a public relations disaster, with Andrew appearing to play a game of ‘cat and mouse’ with Ms Giuffre’s legal team as he moves between Windsor and Balmoral to keep out of their way.
Lawyers for Ms Guiffre, a sex trafficking victim of paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, a former friend of the senior royal, said they had delivered papers notifying him about the civil court sex case to his 30-room mansion at Royal Lodge in Windsor Great Park.
They claimed that the documents were left with police guards at his Windsor home and emailed to his lawyers – and even released a photograph showing that papers notifying him about the case were posted to his home. Andrew disputes that they have been properly served.
Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is set to rule on Miss Roberts’s claims of rape, sexual assault and battery, which Andrew has always firmly denied, told his attorney, Andrew B. Brettler, last week: ‘Let’s cut out all the technicalities and get to the substance.’
Sources told the publication they think Andrew may be considering whether to continue to instruct his legal team at London-based Blackfords, who have been working on his defence for the past 18 months.
They are led by Gary Bloxsome,has been widely questioned for acting so much to save the Prince’s reputation against Miss Roberts’s claims. One insider said: ‘It could be very counter-productive to change horses at this stage.’
But another source close to the duke warned: ‘The decision not to put out any kind of statement, even just to reiterate his denial of the allegations, has seen his reputation shredded in the court of public opinion.
‘I think it’s highly likely we could see some movement on the duke’s strategy at least in the next few days.’
A further New York court hearing is due on October 13.