Prince Andrew Settles Ski Lodge Debt as Key Decision in Epstein Lawsuit Looms

Prince Andrew has settled a $9 million debt on a Swiss ski lodge, clearing the way for him to sell the Alpine property.

The Duke of York is facing mounting legal bills in a lawsuit accusing him of raping a Jeffrey Epstein trafficking victim when she was 17.

He denies the allegations.

The royal has been trying to sell the cabin, in Verbier, since 2020 but was sued by its former owner in the Swiss courts over an unpaid debt.

U.K. newspaper The Sun last week reported he has found a buyer but has not yet completed the sale, an account confirmed by Newsweek.

It comes as Andrew waits to hear the decision of a judge in New York, where his lawyers asked for his sex abuse civil case to be thrown out.

He faces mounting legal bills should the lawsuit go to trial.

Isabelle de Rouvre, 74, former owner of the lodge, told Daily Mail Online the money had now been paid and added: "The war is finished. It is the end of the matter. I have nothing to do with it now. That's all.

"I don't know what they are doing now. They were here at Christmas but I only know that because I read it in the press. I did not see them. So Happy Christmas and that's that. The end."

Prince Andrew and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson bought Chalet Helora in 2014 for $24.5 million but struck up an agreement with de Rouvre that roughly $6.8 million would be paid by December 2019 instead of upfront.

The deadline arrived and the money had not been paid, leaving the former owner to file a lawsuit in Switzerland to recover the money.

De Rouvre said: "It was about six weeks ago that the matter was closed. It was November. It's done. They paid the money and it was done. It is closed for me. The war is over. He has paid the money. We have a war against Covid which is more important but this was a different war.

"The second payment needed to be paid and that payment is now done. That's it. You can be sure that's it. It's done."

A source close to the Prince added that the lawsuit over the unpaid debt had been halted.

The financial issue arose just months after the duke was catapulted out of public life by his car crash TV interview with the BBC's Emily Maitlis, in November 2019.

In January 2020, the U.S. D.O.J. also requested Andrew's testimony as a witness in their investigation into Epstein's abuse, leaving him needing new, costly legal advice.

His efforts to sell the holiday lodge were confirmed to Newsweek in May 2020 during a year when the prince was accused of failing to co-operate with the district attorney.

Since then, his legal woes have expanded to include a lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre who says she was forced to have sex with him when she was 17.

Andrew's lawyers asked Judge Lewis Kaplan to throw out the case in a hearing on January 4.

Kaplan appeared unconvinced by the defense team's arguments and said his decision would arrive "pretty soon."

Prince Andrew and His Ski Lodge
Prince Andrew on a skiing holiday, in Verbier, Switzerland, on February 14, 2007. The prince has owned Chalet Helora with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson since 2014 in the Alpine resort in Switzerland. Max Mumby/Indigo and FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images