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Ghislaine Maxwell claims photo of Prince Andrew and his accuser is ‘a fake’

KEY POINTS
  • Maxwell is in prison after her conviction and sentence for helping late financier sexually abuse girls.
  • In an interview with a UK broadcaster, she claimed a photo of Prince Andrew and his sexual abuse accuser is fake.
  • The prince has not been criminally charged and has continued to deny the accusations.

This article contains references to sexual assault, child abuse.

Disgraced former socialite Ghislaine Maxwell has claimed in a jailhouse interview with a UK broadcaster that a decades-old photograph of Prince Andrew with his sexual abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre is “fake”.

Maxwell, a friend to British royalty, is imprisoned in a Florida penitentiary after her conviction and

Ms Giuffre has claimed she was trafficked by the pair to, among others, Prince Andrew, King Charles III’s younger brother.

The 39-year-old sued the discredited royal in a United States court, claiming they had sex in London when she was 17 and a minor under US law.

He

sparing him the public humiliation of a trial.

The prince, 62, has not been criminally charged and has continued to deny the accusations.

But he stepped back from royal duties and was stripped of his military titles following a public outcry over the reported settlement.

A photograph of Prince Andrew with his arm around Ms Giuffre’s waist and Maxwell standing next to them – said to have been taken in London in 2001 – is seen as crucial to the claim against the prince.

But in her US federal prison interview with TalkTV, set to air in the UK on Monday evening, Maxwell, who has known him for decades, is adamant the image is not genuine.

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“It’s a fake. I don’t believe it’s real for a second, in fact I’m sure it’s not,” she states.

“There’s never been an original and further there is no photograph. I’ve only ever seen a photocopy of it.”

The late Queen Elizabeth II’s youngest son has insisted he never met Ms Giuffre, and in a 2019 BBC interview also appeared to question the photo’s authenticity.

“I don’t believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested,” he told the broadcaster at the time.

“It’s a photograph of a photograph of a photograph… Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored.”

A woman talks on a phone from jail.

In a Talk TV interview with disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, from prison in the US, she said the well-known photo showing the Duke of York next to Virginia Giuffre is fake. Credit: Talk TV/PA/Alamy

The comments by Maxwell, who is appealing her US conviction, come as British newspapers said on Sunday that Prince Andrew would bid to overturn the costly settlement he agreed to with Ms Giuffre almost a year ago.

It follows her dropping a separate abuse claim against celebrity lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

The Sun reported Prince Andrew was consulting US lawyers Andrew Brettler and Blair Berk and hopes to force a retraction or even an apology, which it added could pave the way for a royal rehabilitation.

“I can tell you with confidence that the Prince Andrew team is now considering legal options”, a “well-placed source” told the tabloid.

A representative for Prince Andrew could not immediately be reached for comment.

Under a reported gagging clause in the settlement, Ms Giuffre has been unable to talk publicly about the claim, but that is said to be due to end next month.

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A spokesperson for US attorneys David Boies and Sigrid McCawley, who represent Ms Giuffre, indicated that neither Virginia or her attorneys were commenting at this time.

Anyone seeking information or support relating to sexual abuse can contact Bravehearts on 1800 272 831 or Blue Knot on 1300 657 380.

Readers seeking crisis support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (for young people aged up to 25). More information and support with mental health is available at

and on 1300 22 4636.

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