By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com November 12 2002 12:00 AM ET
The British royal family was faced with further awkward revelations Sunday after a former servant of Prince Charles's said in a newspaper interview that he was raped by another man on the staff. Prince Charles's office has said the allegations were investigated internally and by police and that there was no basis for prosecution. George Smith, 42, a former royal valet, told The Mail on Sunday tabloid that he was assaulted by one of Charles's servants in 1989. Smith, who was 29 and married with two children at the time, said he was invited to the man's home for lunch, where he given gin, beer, and champagne, and then was raped as he slept on a sofa. The alleged attacker was not identified in the report.
Smith was quoted as saying the man also tried to assault him while they accompanied Prince Charles on a visit to Cairo. The law firm Kingsley Napley later released a statement on behalf of the unnamed alleged rapist, denying Smith's claims. "The allegations made now to The Mail on Sunday by Mr. Smith differ substantially and significantly in many regards from those made to the police last year and must cast serious doubt on Mr. Smith's reliability and the accuracy of any allegations he might be persuaded to make."
The allegation of rape was one of the sensational claims to emerge from the trial of Princess Diana's former butler, Paul Burrell, who was acquitted on November 1 of stealing items from her estate after Queen Elizabeth II revealed she knew he took the items for safekeeping. The jury heard Diana was said to have kept a tape recording of the alleged rape victim talking about the incident, but no names were revealed. According to The Mail on Sunday, Smith, a former soldier who served in the Falklands conflict, told Diana of the alleged rape in 1996, and she recorded his accusations. The newspaper claimed she deposited the cassettes, one labeled "The Confessions of George Smith" in a locked mahogany box. Last week Charles's office at St. James's Palace said the alleged victim did not raise the issue until 1996. It said in a statement the allegation was fully investigated but not reported to the police, since "no evidence was forthcoming and because the person concerned did not want to pursue the matter further."