Prince Andrew HAS sold £17m Swiss chalet to pay for legal battle with rape accuser Virginia Guiffre

PRINCE Andrew has found a buyer to take his Swiss chalet off his hands and could use the money to fund his sex abuse case.

The Duke of York has settled on a price with a mystery millionaire for his Verbier home believed to be in excess of £17million.

Andy, 61, is said to be confident that paperwork will be completed soon and needs the money to fund his sex abuse case.

But the Duke will first have to pay off Isabella de Rouvre who loaned the duke money to buy the chalet and sued him for £7million two 18 months ago.

He could be left with around £10million that he can use to fund his US lawyers or even offer a settlement to sex abuse accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre.

A source close to the sale said: "A buyer has been found and a price has been agreed.

"Things are proceeding. It has not been completed yet. But it is hoped to be very soon."

Ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, 62, was joined by Princess Beatrice, 33, and her hubby Edo Mapelli Mozzi, Princess Eugenie, 31, and her husband Jack Brooksbank, for a New Year trip to their chalet.

They all flew back on Friday after saying their farewells to the chalet.

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It is understood the family were "tying up loose ends" and Sarah spent her time seeing friends.

An insider added: "Until the paperwork is done it is still legally theirs to do as they wish.

"But yes it was a form of saying goodbye."

A source in Verbier told The Sun: "It was sold last year. It has been taken off the market."

The agreement comes as Bea's hubby Edo Mapelli Mozzi revealed he is branching out into the Swiss property market.

London-born Edo, 37, runs the property development and interior design firm Banda.

Sources are unaware if he has been involved in the sale but was in Switzerland last month before the family break.

Chalet Helora – which has an indoor pool and sauna – has been on the market for 22million Swiss Francs (£17.6m)

Andrew and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson bought the second floor of the chalet for around £18million in 2014.

Family friend Isabella lent them £5million for the deposit but sued in 2020 when the Yorks missed repayments.

But Swiss land registry files in reveal it is still officially owned by the Yorks.

The Duke is currently waiting on tenterhooks for a judge to decide whether Virginia Roberts Giuffre's civil lawsuit will be ditched.

If it goes ahead, Andrew will face a full civil trial in New York over claims he sexually abused Ms Giuffre on three occasions in 2001 when she was 17.

Andrew has always strongly denied all allegations made against him.

Insiders have claimed Andrew could settle the lawsuit out of court if it goes to trial, with his lawyers keeping the settlement option "on the table" due to the negative impact a court case could have on other senior royals.

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The duke's team are waiting for a judge to decide whether Ms Giuffre' civil lawsuit should be dropped altogether.

They claim a secret 2009 deal she made with billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein exempts Andrew from legal action.

But Judge Lewis Kaplan is unlikely to accept the pending motion, meaning lawyers will have to decide whether to settle or risk a gruelling grilling from lawyers in court.

Ms Giuffre claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times between 1999 and 2002 — in ­London, New York and on Epstein’s private Caribbean island, which he vehemently denies.

Now 38, she has filed a battery and infliction of emotional distress lawsuit against Andrew.

No discussions about whether to settle her case out of court have been had between Andrew and his team so far, it is understood.

A settlement would mean he – and potentially other close members of the Firm – would avoid a court appearance.

But it wouldn't go far in helping to clear his name following the duke's disastrous Newsnight interview in 2019.

Andrew's sex trafficker pal Ghislaine Maxwell was last week found guilty of helping to entice vulnerable teens to ex-lover Epstein's properties for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

She could spend the rest of her life in prison after being convicted of five out of six counts of sex trafficking for vile Epstein’s paedophile ring.

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