With apologies to Jane Austen, it’s a law universally acknowledged that the likelihood of a man being sued for sexual assault is directly proportionate to the man’s wealth.
Those female chancers are easy to understand: what’s the point suing if the mark has no money? That’s why Virginia Giuffre must be commended for her common sense and a feel for arithmetic. She saw an opening and went for it.
Having said that, I could have done without her sanctimonious lies about wanting only justice, not money. She must have inhaled the zeitgeist through both nostrils and the words floated onto her lips as if by themselves. Justice for what exactly?
For Andrew having had sex with her 20 years ago when she was 17? So fine, that was under the age of consent in the US at the time. That cut-off point is now 16 in most states, so if Andrew had kept it in his trousers until 2018, when the change happened, he could then have had all the 17-year-old American lasses he wanted without any risk of prosecution.
It’s useful to remember yet again the difference between malum in se and malum prohibitum. The former is an act that’s bad in itself, such as murder, theft or burglary. The latter is an act that’s only bad because it’s prohibited, such as not wearing a seat belt, driving in a bus lane – or having sex with a 17-year-old girl well-versed in the amorous arts.
Let’s face it, Virginia wasn’t a daisy-fresh virgin taken advantage of by an old lecher. She wasn’t Katyusha Maslova to Prince Nekhlyudov in Tolstoy’s Resurrection. She was a regular visitor to Jeffery Epstein’s dens of iniquity, where she was passed from guest to guest like a relay baton.
Now she’s out for all she can get, which is money and ‘justice’. I’m sure if the first is right she’ll be happy to compromise on the second.
Andrew meanwhile has lost his HRH title, along with all his other honorary entitlements. He has been cut off from the royal family, and his life has been more or less ruined. That, in my view, should have happened a long time ago, Virginia or no Virginia.
In common with his ex-wife, late sister-in law and nephew Harry, Andrew belongs to the royal coterie seemingly committed to destroying the monarchy. Unlike, say, his elder sister, to say nothing of his parents, he doesn’t realise that his life isn’t entirely his own.
He was born to privilege, but also to a lifetime of duty – duty to his family, the dynasty and ultimately his country. Accepting the privilege while reneging on the duty is fundamentally dishonest and, in every other than the legal sense, treasonous.
Cavorting with the likes of Epstein and, much worse, Nazarbayev, swapping the door-opening power of his name for all those yachts, private jets and lavish parties with ladies of easy virtue was vulgar, louche and irresponsible. It was letting down his mother and her realm.
Andrew may not be the sharpest chisel in the box, but a man figuring in succession to the throne doesn’t have to be either an intellectual or a Mastermind contestant. He must, however, be a man who never forgets his mission in this world.
Andrew is among those few royals who seem to suffer from amnesia when it comes to that mission. He probably doesn’t even realise the damage he has done to the royal family and hence our constitution.
I hope the Queen doesn’t come to his rescue at pay-off time. Let him fend for himself, see how he gets on without his hand in her piggybank.
He and Virginia deserve each other. Too bad she’s already married – they could make such a lovely couple. A girl who used her body to get ahead in life and a man who did the same with the position to which he was born.
I only wish our papers stopped catering to the voyeuristic, onanistic instincts of their readers on the current scale. Their coverage of Andrew’s saga is worse than Page 3 in The Sun, featuring topless Playboy-type lovelies. At least those photos don’t encourage hypocrisy and self-righteousness.