Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson, have reportedly been sued for an unpaid property bill worth more than $7.27 million, according to the Daily Mail.
The debt in question is connected to a luxe ski chalet in Verbier, Switzerland, shares of which the couple bought for 13 million British pounds, or roughly $14,111,695 in 2014. But they still allegedly owed 5 million pounds toward their shares, which, with interest, ballooned to 6.7 million pounds, or an estimated $7,272,950, the outlet reported, citing Swiss newspaper Le Temps.
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A spokesperson for the Duke of York confirmed to the Mail that there is “a dispute between the two parties in this matter.”
The wooden Chalet Helora, owned since 2014 by Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in the Alpine resort of Verbier, western Switzerland. (Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)
“The contractual details remain the subject of a confidentiality agreement and prevent further discussion,” the rep added.
The property, named Chalet Helora, boasts seven bedrooms and used to staff a half-dozen full-time employees. At one time, it cost 22,000 pounds, or roughly $23,865, per week, the outlet states.
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The now-estranged royals have often been photographed on the property with their daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, or skiing. They divorced in May 1996, but have remained amicable.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Sarah, Duchess of York, and their family on a skiing holiday in Verbier, Switzerland, on February 18, 2001, in Verbier, Switzerland. (Photo by UK Press via Getty Images)
The lawsuit was filed by the chalet’s original owners, who kept a portion of the shares in the home and alleged Ferguson had previously left them messages “promising that payment would be made,” according to the report.
“They (the original owners) have really gone for the jugular and want their money,” a source told the Mail.
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Andrew has been embroiled in a scandal surrounding his longtime friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
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He announced in November he would be stepping away from his royal duties, noting that he “unequivocally” regretted his “ill-judged associated” with Epstein, who had been arrested in July for sex trafficking of a minor and related charges before his August death.
Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre, who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with him. (Court records)
Epstein died in the Metropolitan Correctional Complex in Manhattan, New York, where he was being housed while awaiting trial. The criminal case was dismissed following his death, but investigators are still probing many of Epstein’s known associates, including Andrew and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, with whom the Duke reportedly frequently spent time.
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Maxwell is seen in a photograph with Andrew and one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has accused Maxwell and the now-deceased financier of forcing her into sex with the royal when she was 17.
Despite a public statement saying he would be willing to help with the investigation into Epstein's case, Andrew has allegedly refused to cooperate with investigators' multiple attempts to interview him.