Virginia Giuffre filed a US civil lawsuit final month towards Prince Andrew, accusing him of sexually assaulting her.
A United States-based lawyer for Britain’s Prince Andrew forcefully rejected claims in a civil lawsuit by a girl who accused the prince of sexually assaulting her when she was 17, and challenged whether or not the case may even be introduced.
At a listening to within the US District Court in Manhattan on Monday, the prince’s lawyer Andrew Brettler additionally mentioned the plaintiff Virginia Giuffre appeared to have signed away her proper to sue Queen Elizabeth’s second son in 2009 when resolving a separate lawsuit.
Giuffre, 38, has mentioned Andrew’s alleged abuse occurred about 20 years in the past, when the financier Jeffrey Epstein was sexually abusing her. Andrew, the Duke of York, has denied Giuffre’s accusations.
“This is a baseless, nonviable, potentially unlawful lawsuit,” Brettler, based mostly in Los Angeles, mentioned throughout a court docket convention performed by telephone.
“There has been a settlement agreement that the plaintiff has entered into in a prior action that releases the Duke and others from any and all potential liability,” Brettler added.
Brettler additionally mentioned Giuffre had not correctly served Andrew beneath UK regulation and the Hague Convention, together with when a course of server left a replica on August 27 with a police officer guarding Royal Lodge, the prince’s house in Windsor, England.
Giuffre’s lawyer rejected that declare. “We have properly served him,” David Boies instructed US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.
Kaplan directed Boies to suggest different means to serve Andrew, and rejected Bretter’s argument that Hague Convention procedures needed to be “exhausted” earlier than making use of US procedures. The subsequent convention was scheduled for October 13.
Andrew, 61, is a former pal of Epstein, a registered intercourse offender who killed himself in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 after US prosecutors charged him with sexually exploiting dozens of women and girls.
The prince stepped down from royal duties and noticed charities and different organisations distance themselves from him after he gave a November 2019 BBC interview, now broadly seen as disastrous, regarding his relationship with Epstein.
Giuffre’s lawsuit places Andrew in a troublesome place as a result of he might be held in default and owe damages if he ignores it or face years of authorized battles by defending himself in court docket.
According to the August 9 grievance, Andrew pressured Giuffre to have undesirable sexual intercourse on the London house of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and Epstein’s longtime affiliate.
The grievance additionally mentioned Andrew abused Giuffre at Epstein’s mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and on a personal island Epstein owned within the US Virgin Islands.
In a September 6 letter, a London-based lawyer for Andrew advised that Giuffre’s lawsuit is likely to be dismissed as a result of she signed a launch in 2009 in a separate Florida case overlaying “claims against persons associated with Jeffrey Epstein”.
Gary Bloxsome, of UK regulation agency Blackfords, mentioned Andrew’s legal professionals wanted to overview the discharge and decide its scope.
“Until we have made that determination, it is difficult for us to give advice as to whether the Duke should voluntarily accept service,” he wrote.
Maxwell has pleaded not responsible to prices she aided Epstein’s sexual abuses. She faces a scheduled November 29 trial earlier than US District Judge Alison Nathan in Manhattan.