New evidence has emerged that allegedly proves the infamous photo showing Prince Andrew with his arm around Virginia Guiffre’s waist is real.
According to a report in the Mail on Sunday, photographer Mark Thomas, who copied the original photo of Prince Andrew photo, can prove it is “not fake.”
Thomas revealed evidence that showed Guiffre’s image was an ordinary printed photograph with a date stamp that was developed at a one-hour photo lab.
The photograph of Andrew with his arm wrapped around Giuffre is reported to have been taken on March 10, 2001, the night the prince is first alleged to have sexually abused her.
Convicted sex offender Ghislaine Maxwell also appears inside her home in Mayfair, London in the photo alongside a then 17-year-old trafficking victim Giuffre.
The photograph was first published in the Mail on Sunday in 2011 and the paper is reported to have paid Giuffre $140,000 to publish it, in addition to $20,000 for two interviews.
At the time, it was said that a photographer for the newspaper took a series of photographs of the original image of Andrew.
‘Impossible to Fake’
In a report this weekend, the Mail on Sunday newspaper now claims it can prove the picture would have been “virtually impossible” to fake.
The publication alleges that there is a date stamp on the back of the original photograph that shows the image was developed on March 13, 2001 — three days after it is alleged Giuffre met the prince.
The Mail on Sunday says photographer Thomas took 39 copies of the image, both front and back, for the newspaper in 2011.
Thomas’s images show the reverse of the photograph has a time stamp that reads: “000 #15 13Mar01 Walgreens One Hour Photo.”
“I think I took more than 30 frames, which is overkill for copying one photo but I didn’t want to get it out of focus or get it wrong because I knew how important it was,” Thomas, a photographer with 39 years of experience, tells The Mail on Sunday.
“I was holding the original photo in my hand. It was a normal 6×4 inch print that you would have got from any developer at the time.
“It looked like it was ten years old. It wasn’t crisp because it had been developed in 2001. She [Giuffre] had held on to it for ten years by the time I saw it.”
‘Developed at Walgreens’
According to the Mail on Sunday, the photograph was developed at a Walgreens pharmacy store which was a two-minute drive from Giuffre’s former home in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Florida-based photographic expert Joel VanHemel analyzed the back of the print of the photograph for the publication and agreed that it was genuine.
“It was definitely produced in a Walgreens, for sure, probably using a Noritsu or Fuji machine,” VanHemel tells the Mail on Sunday.
“The 000 number would be the order number, presumably because it was their first order that particular day. And the #15 is the negative number — it was the 15th picture in the film roll.”
He adds: “Then you have the date — 13Mar01 and it states it was Walgreens One Hour Photo. It’s on Kodak paper like the standard print you’d get from any Walgreens.'”
Last year, a source close to Guiffre’s legal team told The Daily Telegraph that she did not currently have the photograph in her possession.
However, the source insisted that this did not mean the photograph had been lost or that it might not turn up at a later date.
The photograph of Andrew with his arm around Giuffre’s waist and Maxwell standing next to them is considered pivotal to her sexual abuse allegations against the prince.
The report in the Mail on Sunday comes after Maxwell questioned the authenticity of the 2001 photograph.
In an interview from prison with TalkTV last week, Maxwell says: “It’s a fake. I don’t believe it’s real for a second, in fact I’m sure it’s not.”
She adds: “There’s never been an original and further there’s no photograph, and I’ve only ever seen a photocopy of it.”
In an interview with BBC Newsnight in 2019, Andrew also questioned the validity of the photo showing him with Giuffre.
He claimed that the photo could not have been taken in London as he is seen in “traveling clothes.”
Thomas says that Andrew’s and Maxwell’s accusations that the original photograph is fake are “ridiculous” and “absurd.”