A billionaire associate of the Duchess of York has been accused of financing a sex trafficking ring in a US lawsuit.
Trammell Crow, 72, who Sarah Ferguson befriended, is alleged to have financed the venture that led to two women being abused.
The Texas property magnate and environmental philanthropist, who is worth £6 billion, is accused of a series of lurid claims in court documents filed in California.
The allegations came as Fergie, 63, is trying to rehabilitate her image with a tour of the United States to promote her new novel.
In interviews with the US media, she has repeatedly praised her ex-husband Prince Andrew, who was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old victim of the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The allegations came as 63-year-old Fergie (pictured) tries to rehabilitate her image with a US tour to promote her new novel. Pictured: The Duchess of York at a United Nations event
72-year-old Trammell Crow (pictured left), with whom Sarah Ferguson befriended, is alleged to have financed the venture that led to two women being abused.
The Duke of York’s association with Epstein, who ran a sex trafficking operation involving underage girls, forced him to withdraw from public life and he continues to pursue him.
The lawsuit was filed by two women, Julia Hubbard and Kayla Goedinghaus, against Crow and his associates in court in November.
They claimed the ring was run by a man named Richard Hubbard with “essential financial assistance and influence” from Mr. Crow.
Fergie and Mr Crow are said to have bonded over their shared interest in environmental issues – their friendship was first reported earlier in the month.
The lawsuit claims that Mr. Hubbard used “force, threats of force, fraud, or coercion to compel Hubbard and Goedinghaus to engage in commercial sex acts.”
The case was filed under laws governing organized crime and claims the defendants “conspired together” to commit crimes, including human trafficking.
The women claim that Hubbard forced the alleged victims to take drugs such as Xanax “in order to force them to engage in sexual acts.”
It is alleged that Mr. Crow was “key to the company’s existence and long-term success” as he invested in it.
In interviews with the US media, the Duchess of York has repeatedly praised her ex-husband Prince Andrew (pictured), who was accused of having sex with a 17-year-old victim of the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The lawsuit says: “Crow maintained what he called lingerie rooms at each property he owned in which he kept an assortment of lingerie for female guests to wear, as well as what he called ‘stripper shoes.'”
There are a number of other claims in the drug and sex party legal documents that allegedly involved Mr. Crow.
In a motion to dismiss the case, Crow’s attorney, Ken Stone, said the plaintiffs were married to or used to have relationships with the men they accused.
The document states: “The plaintiffs’ attempt to leverage their long-standing domestic disputes into federal human trafficking and (extortion) claims is a cynical attempt to extract financial gain from individuals unfortunate enough to come across them.”
The allegations include that Ms. Hubbard met Mr. Crow while she was “working at a Dallas gentlemen’s club.”
The motion to dismiss reads: ‘Ms. Hubbard alleges that she became close friends with Mr. Crow, such that they exchanged text messages, he “allowed himself to be photographed with her,” and invited her to attend charity events while she invited him to her modeling events.
According to Mr. Stone, “there are no allegations that Mr. Crow ever had a romantic or sexual relationship with Ms. Hubbard.”
The complaint does not allege any sex trafficking offenses against Crow and instead attempts to “smear” him with “allegations about his lifestyle,” the document states.
Mr. Stone writes: ‘The fodder of the gossip columns does not meet the (legal) standards.’
In a statement, Stone called the allegations “absurdly and blatantly false.”
He told The Sun: ‘The story shared by the Claimants is disturbing and paints a picture of numerous broken and troubled domestic relationships.
“We are confident that this will become clear in future court proceedings.”
Stone did not respond to a message seeking further comment.
A spokesman for the Duchess said: “The Duchess has only met Mr Crow once with other people to discuss environmental issues.”
A source close to the Duchess said: “They met on one occasion in his capacity as organizer of Earth X, the world’s largest environmental gathering, and she was unaware of these allegations.” She has no plans to work with Mr. Cuervo or to meet him again.