PRINCE ANDREW'S lawyers have requested access to the original photograph of him with his accuser Virginia Giuffre in an attempt to doubt the veracity of the picture.
Ms Giuffre claims the photo was taken in Ghislaine Maxwell's London home on 10 March 2001, the evening the Duke sexually assaulted her for the first time.
She is alleging he was forced to have sex with him on three occasions after being trafficked by Maxwell and billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, which Prince Andrew denies.
A report in the i newspaper says that his legal team are requesting a copy of the original picture and claim there are doubts over its authenticity.
The image first emerged in 2011 and the whereabouts of the original has been of interest to the Duke's lawyers as it forms a part of the evidence against him.
Ms Giuffre gave the original photo of her, Prince Andrew, and Maxwell to the FBI in 2011 and claims it is authentic.
However, Prince Andrew said in his November 2019 interview with the BBC:
"You can’t prove whether or not that photograph is faked or not because it is a photograph of a photograph of a photograph."
He also said he did not remember it being taken.
In 2016 Ms Giuffre was asked about the picture during her deposition in her civil action against Maxwell, who was last month convicted of being a co-conspirator in Epstein’s sex trafficking operation.
She said then that the FBI returned the photo to her after taking copies in 2011, and that it was probably in some storage boxes kept at a home owned by her in-laws in Sydney.
It is understood the agreement for Ms Giuffre to be questioned by the duke's lawyers has been reached, with an exact date to be confirmed.
Prince Andrew will also give evidence under oath on 10 March in London in a neutral location. His deposition is expected to last two days.
The civil sex assault trial in the US is scheduled to take place between September and December.
The parties will need to confirm by 28 July whether they wish to proceed to trial.