Prince Andrew recruits ex-wife Sarah Ferguson to fight sex abuse case, accuser unlikely to accept less than $7.4m to settle - reports

Prince Andrew has reportedly recruited ex-wife Sarah Ferguson as the sex abuse case brought against him continues to rollick on, with his accuser said to be demanding a multimillion-dollar payout to drop the lawsuit.

The developments come as the Duke of York waits to learn whether he will face trial in the United States over allegations he sexually abused a teenager in 2001. 

Virginia Roberts Giuffre alleges the Queen's son sexually assaulted her at the age of 17. She says this occurred after she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

Prince Andrew has consistently denied the allegations, including in an infamous 2019 interview in which one of his defences was a claim he cannot sweat.

A US judge is currently deciding whether a civil case brought by Giuffre against the Duke in New York should go ahead. Prince Andrew's lawyers argue he can't be tried as he is covered by a deal made in 2009 between Epstein and Giuffre.

But it appears the case has entered a crisis phase for the Duke of York, with the New York Post reporting he has now brought in 'secret weapon' and ex-wife Ferguson onto his legal team to help fight the accusations.

The Post cites multiple sources in reporting that she is so supportive of him - despite them being divorced for more than 25 years - that she is in the room alongside his legal team whenever they are strategising.

"No one from inside Buckingham Palace has been involved in Prince Andrew's case, or even knows anything much," one senior royal source told the outlet. "It's really just the Duke of York, Fergie and his lawyers."

Meanwhile the Telegraph reports Giuffre wants an eye-watering sum from Prince Andrew if she's to drop the suit - though the paper says she's unlikely to accept a payoff, as she wants him to face trial.

Prince Andrew will reportedly need to offer Giuffre more than £3.7 million ($7.4 million) to settle - 10 times the value of her settlement with Epstein.

The latest developments come as it's reported Prince Andrew is looking to fast-track the sale of his $34 million-valued Swiss chalet to pay for the legal fees after learning that the Queen will not pay for the costs.

A source told the Mirror there is "no doubt" the Queen would not pay for any settlement.

The Chalet Helora is in the ski village of Verbier in south-west Switzerland and co-owned by the Duke with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson. They are said to have a buyer, but the deal has not yet been completed.