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Prince Andrew arrives at Balmoral with Sarah Ferguson amid US civil lawsuit

The Duke of York stepped back from royal duties in November 2019

prince andrew balmoral lawsuit© Photo: Getty Images
Danielle Stacey
Online Royal CorrespondentLondon
August 11, 2021
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The Duke of York has been pictured arriving at Balmoral, accompanied by ex-wife Sarah, Duchess of York, just 24 hours after Virginia Giuffre began legal action against Prince Andrew for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

Andrew and Sarah were pictured driving into the Queen's Scottish estate in photos published by MailOnline on Tuesday, where the monarch, 95, is currently spending her summer break.

Lawyers for Ms Giuffre filed the civil suit seeking unspecified damages at a federal court in New York, where the court documents claim she was "lent out for sexual purposes" by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein including while she was still a minor under US law.

READ: The Queen reunited with cheeky Shetland pony during official welcome to Balmoral

WATCH: Virginia Giuffre brings legal action against Prince Andrew

Andrew is named as the only defendant in the 15-page suit, brought under New York state's Child Victims Act, though Epstein and his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell are mentioned frequently throughout.

"In this country no person, whether president or prince, is above the law, and no person, no matter how powerless or vulnerable, can be deprived of the law’s protection," Ms Giuffre's lawsuit stated.

Prince Andrew, 61, has vehemently denied the allegations in the past, and a spokesman for the Duke said there was "no comment" when she was asked to respond to Ms Giuffre's legal action.

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MORE: Sarah Ferguson shares beautiful photo as she pays birthday tribute to 'magical' Princess Beatrice

prince andrew april 2021© Photo: Getty Images

The Duke, pictured in April, stepped back from royal duties in 2019

The Duke stepped back from public duties in November 2019, following his TV interview with BBC Newsnight, which focused on his connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. 

He issued a statement at the time, saying: "I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission. I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. 

"His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."

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