Prince Andrew is sticking to his guns and is cheerful and relaxed, pal says

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Prince Andrew's friend claims he has been “cheerful and relaxed” at Balmoral despite the sexual abuse lawsuit launched by Virginia Roberts Giuffre last week.

A friend of The Duke of York, 61, told The Sun he “has no intention” of changing course over his denial of the 38-year-old Ms Giuffre’s claims that he abused her when she was 17 years old.

Prince Andrew is currently residing at Balmoral with the Queen, who is said to be ‘deeply concerned’ over the ‘nightmare’ situation.

Prince Andrew’s London friend claims: "His legal team always expected this and have prepared. They advised the Duke to keep calm and carry on and he is taking their advice."

The civil lawsuit was filed by Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victim last week, and accuses the Duke of York of sexual assault and causing "intentional" emotional distress to an underage woman.

Prince Andrew adamantly denied any wrongdoing in a 2019 interview with BBC Newsnight where he also discussed his friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein.

In the Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis, Prince Andrew said that the alleged encounter with Ms Giuffre did not happen as he remembered that he had taken his eldest daughter Princess Beatrice to a party at Pizza Express in Woking at the time of the alleged incident in 2001.

He also claimed that the allegation could not be true as Ms Giuffre said the alleged incident began with the duke sweating heavily while dancing at London nightclub Tramp, but the royal had a medical condition at the time which meant he did not sweat.

The Duke of York denied ever meeting his accuser, despite being photographed with Ms Giuffre alongside Ghislaine Maxwell – who has been arrested on multiple criminal charges related to his trafficking and sexual abuse of young women and girls – in early 2001.

Prince Andrew was widely criticised for his performance in the Newsnight interview, and was suspended from royal duties for the "foreseeable future" last year, although the royal did vow to cooperate with the FBI.

Although Prince Andrew had reportedly been hoping to return to public life, that is unlikely to happen – he may even be stripped of his His Royal Highness title.

Commenting on the new civil case, his friend claims: “The legal process could go on for years but that’s not his fault.

“He will respond if required to by law, as he has always said.

"His lawyers saw what happened with the Newsnight interview and think it’s best he says as little as possible.”

Manhattan federal court judge Lewis Kaplan has scheduled a telephone conference for the initial court hearing on 13 September but it is not yet clear whether Prince Andrew or Ms Giuffre will be required to join the call.

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