A billionaire associate of the Duchess of York has been accused of bankrolling a sex trafficking ring in a US lawsuit, it has been reported.
Trammell Crow, 72, who Sarah Ferguson has reportedly struck up a friendship with, is accused of financing the enterprise which led to two women being abused.
The Texan tycoon, who is worth £6bn, is accused of a string of claims in the court papers filed in California.
The lawsuit was filed by two women, Julia Hubbard and Kayla Goedinghaus against Mr Crow and his associates in a court in November, it has been reported.
They claimed that the ring was run by a man called Richard Hubbard with the ‘with the essential financial assistance and influence’ of Mr Crow.
The Duchess, 63, and Mr Crow are said to have bonded over their shared interest in environmental issues – their friendship was first reported at the beginning of 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 racketeering and it claims that the defendants ‘conspired together’ to commit offences including human trafficking.
The women claim that Mr Hubbard forced the alleged victims to take drugs like Xanax ‘in order to force them to participate in sex acts’.
It is alleged that Mr Crow was ‘key to the venture’s existence and long-running success’ as he invested in it.
The lawsuit states: ‘Crow maintained what he called lingerie rooms in each property he owned in which he kept a variety of lingerie for female guests to wear, as well as what he called ‘stripper shoes’.’
There are a number of other claims in the legal papers about sex parties and drugs that allegedly involved Mr Crow.
In a request to dismiss the case, Mr Crow’s lawyer Ken Stone said the plaintiffs were either married or used to be in relationships with the men they were accusing.
The document states: ‘Plaintiffs’ attempt to leverage their long-running domestic quarrels into federal human trafficking and (racketeering) claims is a cynical attempt to extract financial gain from persons who were unfortunate enough to cross paths with them’.
The allegations include that Ms Hubbard met Mr Crow while she ‘worked at a Dallas gentleman’s club’.
The motion to dismiss states: ‘Ms. Hubbard alleges that she became close friends with Mr. Crow, such that they exchanged text messages, he would ‘allow himself to be photographed with her’ and he 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 was ever romantically or sexually involved with Ms. Hubbard’.
First appear at Sarah Ferguson’s billionaire friend sued for ‘bankrolling sex-trafficking ring’