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Prince Andrew stepping away from duties is ‘based on a half truth’

Prince Andrew's decision to step back from public duties is "welcome news" and a "positive first step" but based on "only a half truth", according to the lawyer of his accuser.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre claims she was trafficked by the Duke of York's former friend, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and forced to have sex with a number of his associates, including Andrew, when she was 17.

She claimed she met the prince in a London nightclub in 2001 and they had a sexual encounter at the home of his friend Ghislaine Maxwell.

Image: A picture appearing to show the prince with a 17-year-old Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2001

In a TV interview last Saturday, the prince said he did not recall ever meeting Ms Roberts Giuffre, insisted the alleged encounter did not happen, and also said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, who killed himself in prison earlier this year.

The prince, who spoke publicly about his relationship with Epstein for the first time to Newsnight, was later criticised for not showing compassion for Epstein's victims.

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In an interview with BBC Newsnight, Prince Andrew claimed he has 'no recollection' of ever meeting Virginia Roberts.
Image: In an interview with BBC Newsnight, Prince Andrew claimed he has 'no recollection' of ever meeting Virginia Roberts Giuffre

Ms Roberts Giuffre's lawyer, David Boies, said: "Prince Andrew's recent interview and his subsequent action to withdraw from public life is welcome news. It is a positive first step towards taking responsibility for his actions.

"However, basing his decision to step away from his duties due to his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein is only a half truth.

More from Prince Andrew

"He clearly had a long-term association with Ghislaine Maxwell who we maintain was Epstein's co-conspirator and played a central role in devastating the lives of countless women."

Ms Maxwell has previously denied any wrongdoing and her current whereabouts are unknown.

Virginia Roberts Guiffre alleges she had sex with Prince Andrew in 2001 when she was 17
Image: Virginia Roberts Giuffre alleges she had sex with Prince Andrew 18 years ago

The prince was seen in public earlier on Thursday, leaving his house, the Royal Lodge, in Windsor.

It was the first time he has been spotted since his decision to stand down from his positions, following the widely criticised TV interview over his relationship with Epstein.

Other members of the Royal Family continued their duties on Thursday, including the Queen who awarded an OBE at Buckingham Palace to a senior police officer who led the UK response to the 2015 terror attacks in Tunisia.

Prince William at the Tusk Conservation Awards in London
Image: Prince William attended the Tusk Conservation Awards in central London

Prince William was at the annual Tusk Conservation Awards in Leicester Square, central London.

The Duke of Cambridge did not speak to members of the public who were waiting outside the event at a cinema.

The Duchess of Cambridge was unable to attend the ceremony due to an undisclosed matter relating to their children.

Princess Anne has refused to answer questions regarding her brother the Duke of York.
Princess Anne tight-lipped over Andrew

Princess Anne has also been in central London but she refused to answer reporters' questions.

The duke has resigned from another position as part of his decision to step back from royal duties.

The Outward Bound Trust has accepted his resignation, saying they thanked him for "his support over many years".

It follows the University of Huddersfield confirming that Andrew will no longer serve as chancellor.

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