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Prince Andrew wants a jury to decide a lawsuit by a Jeffrey Epstein accuser if he can’t get the case dismissed altogether, his lawyers revealed in court papers on Wednesday.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an American, has accused the British royal of sexually abusing her when she was 17 while she traveled with the American financier.
The request from the 61-year-old’s lawyers was inside a line-by-line formal response to the lawsuit that Giuffre filed against him in August in Manhattan federal court.
Photo from 2001 that was included in court files shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.
(U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals)
The Duke of York has denied Giuffre’s allegations and even attempted to get the lawsuit tossed. However, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected his attempt to win a dismissal earlier this month. That decision allowed depositions and other evidence from both parties to move forward.
Wednesday’s response was filed by Los Angeles attorneys Andrew Brettler and Melissa Lerner. They said the lawsuit should be dismissed on several grounds, again citing Giuffre’s permanent residency in Australia and a settlement over a decade earlier between Epstein and Giuffre that Andrew’s lawyers contend prevents her from suing the prince. They also argued that she consented to sexual activity and the statute of limitations has expired.
Britain’s Prince Andrew has long denied the allegations.
(Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Giuffre asserted that she met Andrew while she traveled frequently with Epstein between 2000 and 2002. Her lawyers maintain she was “on call for Epstein for sexual purposes” and was “lent out to other powerful men,” including the prince. Her lawsuit said she still suffers significant emotional and psychological distress and harm.
In the wake of the judge’s decision earlier in January, Andrew – who had already stepped back from royal duties – was stripped of his honorary military titles.
Epstein, 66, took his own life in a Manhattan federal lockup in August 2019 while he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges. Giuffre has also leveled allegations at Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime companion, but was not part of the criminal case that ended recently with Maxwell’s conviction on sex trafficking charges.
Virginia Giuffre holds a photo of herself at age 16, when she says Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein began abusing her sexually.
(Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)
Giuffre, now 38, sued Andrew in August, alleging she was coerced into sexual encounters with him in 2001 by Epstein and Maxwell. Giuffre said she was sexually abused by Andrew at Maxwell’s London home, at Epstein’s New York mansion and his estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
In late 2019, the son of Queen Elizabeth II told BBC Newsnight that sex with Giuffre “didn’t happen” and he has “no recollection” of ever meeting her. His statements led critics to say he seemed insensitive to Epstein’s victims. After the nuclear interview, Andrew stepped back from public duties.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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