Prince Andrew is “stressed” and “worried” over the bombshell lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault — and holding crisis talks about whether he should fire his legal team for its “shambolic” strategy of silence, according to reports.
The UK royal — whose daughter Princess Beatrice, 33, has just given birth to her first child — had wanted to forcefully deny the allegations made by longtime accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre in her New York lawsuit, a royal source told The Telegraph.
But he was overruled by his attorneys — leaving him fearing that “the wall of silence and policy of evasion only adds to the impression [that] the Duke has something to hide,” the source said.
“The plan, if you can call it a plan, has been shambolic from the start,” a source close to Andrew told The Mirror of the 61-year-old royal’s legal team.
“He is extremely worried and the crisis talks are so he can get off the back foot,” the source said.
“He knows he’s in a full-on crisis,” the source said.
Giuffre has alleged that she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times — starting when she was 17 — on the orders of late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his accused madam, Ghislaine Maxwell.
Giuffre’s complaint says Andrew’s “actions constitute sexual offenses” including first- and third-degree rape.
Meanwhile, Andrew has been accused of playing a “game of a hide and seek behind palace walls” by refusing to accept the court papers, Giuffre’s attorneys wrote in a federal filing in the case last week.
But the disgraced royal’s legal team has claimed that a 2009 settlement Giuffre struck could get him off the hook — without the duke or his lawyers directly addressing the allegations themselves.
Palace officials are also “more than concerned” at the lack of a public statement denying something that “has wider reputational implications for the institution of the monarchy,” the UK papers’ sources said.
“The damage to his reputation is there for all to see, but now he’s feeling the pressure from his family,” The Mirror’s source said.
“The whole thing’s a disaster,” the source said as Andrew is accused of repeatedly trying to avoid even getting served the lawsuit papers.
Andrew’s legal response is being led by Gary Bloxsome, a partner at UK law firm Blackfords, whose initial brief was to fend off FBI attempts to talk to the prince about his friendship with late pedophile pal Epstein, The Telegraph said.
Blackfords did not respond to messages, and a spokesman for Andrew declined to comment, The Mirror said.
The prince has previously vehemently denied Giuffre’s claims, denying during his now-notorious interview with the BBC having ever met her.
He was soon booted from royal duties amid outrage at the interview.
Epstein hanged himself in his Manhattan lockup in August 2019 while awaiting trial on serious sex charges.
Maxwell is in custody in Brooklyn awaiting trial for allegedly abusing underage girls and recruiting them for Epstein. She has pleaded not guilty.