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Prince Andrew to seek jury trial in Virginia Giuffre sexual assault case

Prince Andrew will seek a jury trial in Virginia Giuffre’s sexual assault case, his lawyers announced on Wednesday.

The defiant statement from the prince’s legal team means a civil trial is likely to take place later this year in New York.

Ms Giuffre is suing Prince Andrew for international emotional harm and assault, and alleges she was forced to have sex with him three times when she was 17.

He denied any wrongdoing.

In a letter to Judge Lewis Kaplan on Wednesday, Andrew’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler, provided a detailed response to Ms Giuffre’s claims that she was trafficked by the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and ordered to have sex with the royal.

He denied many of the allegations in Ms Giuffre’s complaint, also saying there was a lack of “sufficient information to either admit or deny the allegations”.

Mr Brettler sets out more than 10 ‘affirmative defences’ in the letter, which refer to evidence the royal will use to try to refute the case.

Among them is the ‘unclean hands doctrine’, which claims Ms Giuffre acted unethically in relation to the accusations she made.

At the end of the letter, Mr Brettler states: ‘Prince Andrew hereby requests a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint.’

Duke of York lawyers want to interview Virginia Giuffre’s husband and psychologist

(PA Media)

If the trial continues, Andrew, 61, will likely be subpoenaed to testify in person, but may refuse to travel to the United States.

According to several legal experts, a British citizen cannot be compelled to travel to the United States for a civil trial, which means Andrew could choose to give evidence by video link.

Judge Kaplan has indicated that he will seek to hold a trial in September or October.

Andrew had fought to have Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit thrown out on the grounds that it was protected by a 2009 settlement agreement between Epstein and Ms Giuffre.

Earlier this month, Judge Kaplan dismissed the motion after hearing oral arguments from his lawyers.

After the ruling, Andrew was stripped of his military titles and royal patronages by the Queen. In a statement, Buckingham Palace said he would face trial as a “private citizen”.

Andrew’s lawyers have said they want to interview Ms Giuffre’s husband, Robert Giuffre, and his psychologist, Dr Judith Lightfoot, in connection with his civil case.

They claimed Ms Giuffre ‘may be suffering from false memories’ and that Dr Lightfoot should be tested on the ‘false memory theory’.

Ms Giuffre’s lawyers have demanded that the royal produce evidence of “alleged medical inability to sweat”, as he claimed in a 2019 interview with BBC Nesnight.


The Independent Gt

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