UK's Prince Andrew makes first appearance since sex claims

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 22, 2015 6:47 AM

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Britain's Prince Andrew will make his first public appearance on Thursday since he was accused in court documents of having sex with an underage girl introduced to him by a disgraced U.S. financier.

The prince, 54, second son of Queen Elizabeth, will host a reception focused on entrepreneurship at the World Economic Forum in Davos, his first official engagement after he was named in allegations of sexual crimes filed in a Florida Court.

A royal source told Reuters Andrew could make a brief reference to the sex claims when he delivers his speech, but was unlikely to add more to denials already issued by Buckingham Palace.

According to the allegations, a woman identified only as Jane Doe #3 but named as Virginia Roberts by some British media, said she was forced as a minor by Andrew's friend Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with several people including the prince.

Buckingham Palace has denied the accusations.

"It is emphatically denied that HRH The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts," a spokesman said earlier this month.

Andrew, fifth in line to the throne, is not a defendant in the Florida lawsuit, which mainly centers on his former friend Epstein, but he does appear in the lengthy court documents.

(Writing by Michael Holden in London; editing by Ralph Boulton)