Prince Andrew's lawyers are planning to tip his sex abuse case in his favour by questioning the conduct of Virginia Giuffre, who has accused the royal of having sex with her on three occasions after she was trafficked to him by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein at the age of 17. His legal team is trying to arrange testimonials that would prove the role Giuffre may have herself played in "recruiting and trafficking underage girls" for Epstein.

To implicate Giuffre as a sex trafficker, Andrew's defence team wants to interview another of Epstein's victims, Carolyn Andriano, under oath. Andriano has previously claimed that Giuffre, whose case got Epstein convicted as a paedophile and sent him to prison where he took his own life, had recruited her as a sex worker for him when she was 14 and trained her to give sexual massages.

Andriano's potential testimony will be a part of Andrew's "unclean hands" defence strategy, under which his lawyers will argue that his accuser does not deserve damages because she herself was complicit in a "criminal enterprise." However, her statement could also backfire against the royal as she recently corroborated claims that the Duke of York had sex with an underage Giuffre at Epstein's associate Ghislaine Maxwell's home. The royal has till now refused to accept the charges that he had sex with Giuffre and denies any recollection of even meeting her.

A source familiar with the defence's "unclean hands" strategy told the Times about plans to interview Andriano, "It's potentially a double-edged sword."

The insider added that the legal team is looking for other women as well who may have been recruited by Giuffre when they were minors. They said, "We are interested in speaking with and interviewing anyone and everyone who has information relevant to these allegations."

Meanwhile, Giuffre's lawyers are all set to interview Andrew under oath in London on March 10. A source close to the royal said, "We agreed to voluntarily produce the Duke for a deposition on March 10. Despite repeated requests, Ms. Giuffre (Roberts) still hasn't committed to a date or location for her deposition."

Prince Andrew
Despite publicly offering his assistance, Britain's Prince Andrew (pictured January 2020) has repeatedly failed to cooperate with the investigation into Jeffrey Epstein, a New York prosecutor said Photo: AFP / Lindsey Parnaby