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Rumors of prince involve sex with a man

Published Nov. 11, 2003
Updated Sep. 2, 2005

The sex scandal surrounding Prince Charles continued to build Monday, as reports said he had decided not to go on TV to deny the rumors, and a former servant came to his defense.

Though a court order kept English media from reporting just what the scandal's about, no such order applied to newspapers elsewhere. Newspapers from Scotland and Italy to Australia reported the central allegations: that George Smith, a former valet to Prince Charles, says he saw the prince having sex with another male aide, Michael Fawcett; and that Fawcett had raped Smith.

More than a week after the rumors became the subject of a legal case, few in England know details of Smith's allegations unless they have turned to the Web. A court order forbids newspapers there to print the details.

The order does not apply to Scotland, though, and on Sunday the Sunday Herald of Glasgow printed the allegations, according to the Irish Independent. The Scottish newspaper reported that the injunction did prevent it from putting its story online.

No such order applied to Australia. The Web site of the Sun-Herald of Sydney, Australia, reported Sunday, "The rumors surround a purported sexual contact between Prince Charles and Michael Fawcett, one of his closest advisers." It reported that Smith said he was raped by a male royal aide and that he witnessed a homosexual encounter between a royal aide and a member of the royal family.

The newspaper reported that that was the claim Prince Charles was denying Thursday, when he said he was not involved in an undescribed "incident some years ago involving a senior member of the Royal Family."

The prince's statement, which did not name Smith, described the man making the allegations as suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder and alcoholism after service in the Falklands War.

"He has, in the past, made other unrelated allegations, which the police have fully investigated and found to be unsubstantiated," the statement said. Smith, 43, worked for Prince Charles for 11 years until 1997.

In any case, the incident "simply could not have happened," said another ex-servant, Simon Solari.

Solari told the Evening Standard newspaper that Smith would never have been in a position to witness the incident he says he saw. In defending Charles, Solari also put more details into the public domain, but with little explanation.

"It would not have been in George's remit to attend the prince or serve him tea in his bedroom, that was a job for the senior valet," Solari was quoted as saying.

"The Prince of Wales does not have breakfast in bed. It did not happen in my day, anyway," he said.

The Mail on Sunday had intended to print a story Nov. 2 about allegations by Smith, but Fawcett obtained an injunction to block publication of the story, which was supposedly libelous.

On Sunday, the newspaper reported Smith claimed he had been raped by another royal servant, who had also been involved in "an incident" with Charles.

The Reuters news service reported Monday that Prince Charles has ruled out making a special TV appearance to deny the rumors.

_ Information from the Associated Press and the Web sites of the Sun-Herald of Sydney, Australia; Reuters; the Sunday Herald of Glasgow, Scotland; and the Irish Independent of Dublin was used in this report.