Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson Face Legal Action for Alleged $8 Million Debt on Swiss Ski Home
The Duke and Duchess of York bought the home in the ski resort of Verbier, Switzerland, in 2014
Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson are being sued over claims of missed payments on their Swiss chalet.
The former couple — who have remained good friends since their 1996 divorce — bought the seven-bedroom home in the ski resort of Verbier, Switzerland, for $23 million in 2014. However, they allegedly failed to pay off their share of the home by a deadline of December 2019, according to reports. Swiss media outlets say $6.2 million was due to be paid in Dec. 2019, which has since risen to $8.4 million with interest.
"We can confirm there is a dispute between the two parties in this matter," a spokesperson for Prince Andrew, 60, told The Daily Mail. "The contractual details remain the subject of a confidentiality agreement and prevent further discussion."
The lawsuit was filed by Chalet Helora's original owners, who kept a portion of shares in the home. Isabelle de Rouvre, who is dating French art dealer Michael Kennedy, became friends with the royals after they repeatedly rented her chalet and decided to sell it to them rather than put it on the market, according to The Daily Mail.
Switzerland has been a family ski destination for Prince Andrew, Fergie and their two daughters — Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie — for many years.
The dispute comes amid the ongoing controversy surrounding Andrew’s ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. In March, U.S. attorney Geoffrey Berman said the royal has not cooperated with federal prosecutors on the Epstein probe, despite publicly stating his willingness to help them.
Speaking to reporters in March, Berman said, “Contrary to Prince Andrew’s very public offer to cooperate with our investigation into Epstein’s co-conspirators, an offer that was conveyed via press release, Prince Andrew has now completely shut the door on voluntary cooperation, and our office is considering its options.”
Queen Elizabeth's son has denied any wrongdoing.
Prince Andrew formally stepped back from royal duties following his BBC interview about his ties to Epstein in November. In the statement announcing the news, the duke said: “Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
The duke remains tight-knit with his family, including Fergie and their daughters. (He was set to give Princess Beatrice away at her royal wedding to Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, which was postponed from its May 29 date due to coronavirus.)
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"He plays a very traditional role in her life. She’s his greatest supporter," an insider previously told PEOPLE of Andrew and Beatrice’s relationship.
"Beatrice would never do anything to be hurtful to her father. He's going to be by her side and she's going to be by his," the source added.