LONDON – The guilty verdict in the case of British celebrity Ghislaine Maxwell, convicted Wednesday for helping lure teenagers into abuse through financier Jeffrey Epstein, comes days before her longtime friend Prince Andrew tries to turn his own civil case into one New Courtroom in York City.
Maxwell was convicted on five federal sex trafficking charges after a jury concluded that she played a crucial role in the recruitment and care of teenage girls by Epstein, a convicted sex offender who was detained in federal prison in August 2019 died by suicide, be sexually abused.
The verdict reverberates across the Atlantic because Andrew, a son of Queen Elizabeth II, was also accused of sexually abusing Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s most high-profile accusers.
Although the jury in Maxwell’s trial did not hear any evidence of Prince Andrew’s involvement in any wrongdoing and Giuffre did not testify, the influential British newspaper The Times announced the verdict as “bad news” for the prince, who is now linked to two convicted criminals will. Other British media followed suit.
Andrew, 61, has vehemently denied Giuffre’s allegations and has not been charged with any crimes.
In a 2019 BBC interview, he said he had “no memory” of ever meeting Giuffre and “absolutely no memory” of an infamous photo she shared with Maxwell in 2001.
He added that he had been friends with Maxwell for decades and through her met Epstein in 1999.
After the verdict was announced Giuffre said: “We have been told all the time that these people will never go to jail. You are too powerful. You are too rich. And we’re living in a new day And it just shows that this is not the end. That’s just the beginning.”
she wrote on Twitter: “Maxwell did not act alone. Others must be held accountable. ”
Giuffre sued this year that Maxwell sold her to Prince Andrew when she was 17. The prince’s legal team will campaign to dismiss the lawsuit at a hearing in New York early next month.
Andrew Brettler, the prince’s attorney, said in a text message Thursday that he would not make a statement on the Maxwell ruling on behalf of Prince Andrew.
Giuffre accuses Andrew in the lawsuit of having sexually abused her on various occasions – in London and New York and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.
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The lawsuit alleges that Epstein and Maxwell forced her to have sex with Andrew and that he knew she was a victim of sex trafficking.
“Twenty years ago, Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position and connections made it possible to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child who was not protected by anyone. It is long overdue for him to be brought to justice, ”said the lawsuit, filed in the southern borough of New York on August 9.
Giuffre had previously made the allegations in TV interviews, including with “Dateline NBC”. The lawsuit opened a new front in an attempt to hold Andrew accountable.
It was announced on Thursday that a 2009 Epstein-Giuffre settlement that could be key to a legal battle with Andrew is due to be released next week.
Andrew’s attorneys have argued that the settlement exempts him from liability because it covers “royalties” and Epstein insisted that it covers “anyone and everyone” whom Giuffre could sue.
Giuffre’s attorney, meanwhile, said that “at most” applies to individuals involved in underlying Florida litigation and that Andrew is therefore excluded.
The Maxwell ruling adds to a tumultuous year for the royals. Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, ended their separation from the royal family amid Prince Philip’s death and allegations of racism against other family members.
Los Angeles attorney Lisa Bloom, who represented eight of Epstein’s victims, told the British tabloid The Daily Mail On Thursday, the prince is said to be “shaking in his boots” because of the Maxwell ruling.
“She’s a convicted sex trafficker now,” said Bloom. “So that brings us one step closer to Prince Andrew.”
In one (n Analysis of the case The Times said Thursday that the prince’s chances of defeating Giuffre’s legal action “look even smaller than before” following Maxwell’s conviction.
“When jurors are selected to hear Giuffre’s civil suit against Prince Andrew, they will remember an important fact: that Andrew’s friend Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty in a New York court,” it said.
British media personality Piers Morgan also veiled slapped the prince, saying many powerful figures should be very nervous if Maxwell decides to expose Epstein’s accomplices in order to potentially avoid the rest of their lives in prison.
“If she does that, tonight a lot of rich, powerful, and famous people could sweat … and not sweat,” Morgan tweeted in what appears to be a reference to Prince Andrew’s claim in the 2019 BBC interview that he had an illness that prevented him from sweating.
Andrew has stepped down from his public role since the interview and has held back so as not to further damage the reputation of the royal family.