Prince Andrew has had a ‘mood shift’ as the High Court is to serve sex case papers, with a source telling the Mirror ‘there’s tension in the air and he’s not so blasé now’
Just last week Prince Andrew was convinced he would easily beat Virginia Giuffre’s sex allegations against him.
But sources have revealed his bullish mood has changed after the High Court announced on Monday it will act to serve US civil case papers on him.
And the Duke of York is now bracing himself for a legal battle that he fears could go on for years and end up costing him millions of pounds.
Giuffre, a former sex slave of late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, has accused Andrew, 61, of forcing her to sleep with him three times when she was 17.
Legal experts have predicted she could be awarded around £14million if she wins.
The Mirror revealed last week the Prince was so confident the case would collapse he planned to return to royal duties.
But insiders revealed he is now giving off a different vibe.
One source said: “He’s not been his usual blasé self, acting like everything is in hand.
“The issue has suddenly become very pressing and there is a distinct tension in the air.
“There has been a dramatic shift in mood and the reality that this could not only go on for many months, if not years, as well as costing potentially millions of pounds is very real.”
Another insider added: “The stark reality is that the Duke and his team need to face the fact they need to address this.”
Ms Guiffre’s lawyer David Boies said: “We are hopeful that Prince Andrew will now stop trying to evade and delay facing his accuser in court.
“The bottom line is Andrew is being served. He cannot refuse.”
In another blow for Andrew, the High Court judge refusedto unseal a document the Prince’s lawyers claim would invalidate Ms Giuffre’s claim.
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The document, signed by his accuser, allegedly prevents her from suing.
But Andrew will now have to make a legal request for a copy and that would mean accepting he has been served the lawsuit.
The High Court will now begin trying to locate the Duke for a legal representative to tell him about the case, known as service of proceedings.
Once served, his legal team would have 21 days to respond.
A US judge this week dismissed claims Andrew could not respond to the suit launched by Giuffre as he had not received the documents despite them being left with a policeman at his Windsor home.
Lewis A Kaplan has listed the case for a further hearing on October 17.
Andrew, who denies the claims, was this week pictured at the Queen’s Balmoral estate.