Prince Andrew : Serious questions emerge about the credibility of Prince Andrew's accuser

Serious questions emerge about the credibility of Prince Andrew's accuser

According to a former friend of the accuser Virginia Giuffre, she only had good things to say about Prince Andrew at the time and bragged about sleeping with him. Most damning is the accusation from this friend that Virginia Giuffre was responsible for grooming young girls into the sex trade, much like what Ghislaine Maxwell is accused of. She even told these girls to lie about their age. This article comes from the Daily Mail.

Normally when a jury returns a verdict, that's the end of it. But not in the Ghislaine Maxwell case. If anything, when it comes to this extraordinary tale of power and perversion, the plot appears to be thickening.

The latest revelations come from a key witness in the recent trial, Carolyn Andriano, whose testimony helped secure four of the five guilty verdicts against Maxwell.

This weekend she gave an exclusive interview to The Mail on Sunday's sister paper, the Daily Mail, in which she threw light on Virginia Giuffre's allegations of battery and sexual assault against Prince Andrew.

She claims that not only did Giuffre text her excitedly from London in March 2001 to say she was having dinner with the Prince, she also claims that when she got back to Florida she showed Andriano that snap of her with him and gushed: 'I got to sleep with him.'

According to Andriano, Giuffre didn't seem remotely upset about the experience. On the contrary, 'she thought it was pretty cool' and 'couldn't believe that she got to sleep with Prince Andrew'.

She also says that her friendship with Giuffre was what led to her being recruited – aged 14 – into Epstein and Maxwell's 'pyramid scheme' of abuse, and that Giuffre was fully aware of what was going on. 'I don't think she deserves any compensation,' she says.

'I don't think she was coerced into doing anything.'

She even goes so far as to say that Giuffre, whom she met when she was 13 and dating a 17-year-old boy who was friends with Giuffre's boyfriend, deserves to get the same treatment as Maxwell, since she 'trafficked' her into a 'world of spiralling downward slopes'.

She says the older girl had a way of making her feel 'comfortable', and that she trusted her – which is presumably why, when Giuffre asked her if she would like to 'go and make some money', she agreed to visit Epstein at his house in Palm Beach to administer a 'massage'.

Giuffre gave her a revealing top and a pair of 'tight skimpy shorts' and told her 'whatever you do, don't say your age'. They went to Epstein's place, where she watched Giuffre massage him and have sex with him, before Maxwell took her phone number and gave her $300.

To my mind there is no doubt: if what Andriano is saying is true (and I have no reason to doubt her), her testimony opens up a new can of worms. It casts Giuffre in a completely different light, one in which she appears less the innocent victim of a predatory prince and more a knowing participant in a network of sleaze.

She seems to have done to Andriano exactly what she claims Maxwell did to her: groomed her as a sex object for Epstein.

Sure, she was herself an underage victim (though, of, course the age of consent – on which so much in this case hinges – varies wildly around the world). Nevertheless, there are some serious blurred lines here. Not just in relation to her role as recruiter for Maxwell, but also in terms of her claims against Prince Andrew.

A woman who claims he sexually assaulted her, yet was so excited about the chance of bedding him that she texted her friend on the other side of the world? Who showed off a picture of them together?

A person who claims to be a victim, yet herself recruits other victims, tells them to lie, gives them certain clothes to wear and shows them what to do?

Don't get me wrong: Andrew is a pompous, entitled oaf who has handled this whole thing appallingly. But if he did sleep with Giuffre, which he has vehemently denied, Andriano's testimony raises the distinct possibility that he might not have had the slightest clue what was really going on. Giuffre's allegation is still pretty sleazy, of course: after all, she was 17 at the time, he was almost 40. But if Giuffre encouraged Andriano to lie about her age, who's to say she didn't do the same for herself?

At some point Giuffre allegedly turned from victim into abuser, and visited on others the horrors that had been visited on her. Her supporters like to gloss over this fact.

'Virginia has said for years that her role in facilitating other young women's involvement is something she has always regretted,' says her lawyer, David Boies. I'm sure she does. But the fact remains, she still did it. And just because she regrets it doesn't mean it didn't happen.

I'd hope Ghislaine also regrets many of the things she did. It won't stop her being held accountable for them, and nor should it. But the more we hear about this case, the more I can't help thinking: why was she the only one on trial?

If Scotty David is any indicator of the calibre of jurors in America, God help us. He revealed after the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict that he was a sexual assault victim, putting the whole trial at risk. The guy is a self-serving, publicity-seeking idiot.

Re: Serious questions emerge about the credibility of Prince Andrew's accuser

It doesn't matter if she's lying. She's taking down the British royal family so it's for the greater good.

Re: Serious questions emerge about the credibility of Prince Andrew's accuser

Injustice is never for the greater good.