Politics

Prince Andrew gives up St. Andrews golf club membership amid Jeffrey Epstein victim sex lawsuit

Key Points
  • Prince Andrew has given up an honorary membership in Britain's most renowned golf club, The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in Scotland.
  • It is the latest blow to the prestige of the royal family member Andrew due to his prior social relationship with notorious sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein.
  • Virginia Giuffre claims in a Manhattan federal court lawsuit that Andrew abused her when she was 17 years old after being directed to have sex with him by Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's confidante.
Prince Andrew tees off at the 18th hole at St. Andrews in Scotland, October, 1994.
Stephen Munday | Getty Images

Prince Andrew has said goodbye to St. Andrews.

Prince Andrew has given up an honorary membership in Britain's most renowned golf club in the latest blow to what is left of the royal family member's prestige as he fights a lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing an underage victim of notorious sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein.

"I can confirm that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has received notification that the Duke of York will relinquish his honorary membership," a spokesman for the club said in a statement Friday.

"We respect and appreciate his decision."

Andrew's move to leave the 268-year-old club comes two weeks after his mother Queen Elizabeth II of Britain stripped him of his military titles and positions at charities as a result of the Epstein scandal, which has plagued him for years.

The prince was a friend of the late money manager Epstein, who has been accused of sexually assaulting and abusing dozens of underage girls and young women.

One of those women, Virginia Giuffre, sued Andrew in Manhattan federal court last year, claiming the prince sexually assaulted her on several occasions at multiple locations when she was 17 years old after being directed to have sex with him by the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's confidante.

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Andrew denies Giuffre's accusations and has said he does not recall ever meeting her. A photo shows him with a young Giuffre with a smiling Maxwell in the background.

A judge this month dismissed Andrew's request to throw out Giuffre's suit.

Maxwell was convicted in late December at a criminal trial in Manhattan federal court of procuring underage girls to be abused by Epstein.

She is awaiting sentencing while continuing to be held without bail.

The convicted sex criminal Epstein died from a suicide by hanging in August 2019 in a New York federal jail while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges.

In addition to Andrew, Epstein had previously been friends with other wealthy celebrities, including two former presidents, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.