Katie Piper is concerned that memes are turning sexual assault into a ‘joke’ (Picture: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)
The Duke of York is currently embroiled in an assault civil lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges the prince sexually assaulted her when she was under 18.
Prince Andrew has denied all the claims against him and, in the most recent development in the case, he has asked for a trial by jury.
TV personality and activist Katie Piper has now spoken out against the culture of poking fun at the trial and Andrew on social media, as it is turning rape and sexual assault into a ‘joke’.
Speaking on Thursday’s episode of Loose Women, Katie told fellow panellists Charlene White, Jane Moore and Nadia Sawalha that there is a culture in the UK of ‘trial by media’.
‘There are so many details that have been released,’ she said.
The Loose Women panel discussed the newest developments in the case (Picture: ITV)
The activist said she would be ‘frightened’ that her sons could be falsely accused of something (Picture: ITV)
‘On some platforms, it’s been made into memes, into jokes, but when is rape or sexual abuse ever a joke?
‘I think that’s completely wrong.’
She went on to suggest that the way cases are reported in the media in the UK should change, as people’s names are ‘tarnished’ when they’re accused of a crime.
‘I don’t have any sons but I’d be very frightened for them if I did,’ she said.
Clarifying that she wasn’t speaking specifically about Prince Andrew’s case, she argued: ‘To have your name tarnished in the media before you’ve even had a civil or a criminal case, it’s very dangerous territory.’
Prince Andrew has requested a trial by jury in the case (Picture: EPA)
Jane agreed, claiming she could walk into a police station ‘this afternoon’ and say a pop star had ‘sexually assaulted me’.
‘That could be put out there, and then in a month’s time they could say “Jane Moore completely lost her mind and there’s no truth in it”, but it’s already out there.’
She suggested names should not be made public until a person is charged with an offence – not just in Prince Andrew’s case, but generally – with Katie agreeing that this would ‘also protect the victims’.
Ms Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, has accused Prince Andrew of sexually assaulting her in three different locations between 2000 and 2002.
Prince Andrew has consistently denied the accusations and is not facing criminal action either in the UK or US.
The Insidexpress is now on Telegram and Google News. Join us on Telegram and Google News, and stay updated.