A lawyer for Britain’s Prince Andrew said on Monday the royal had not properly received a copy of a new lawsuit filed by a woman who says she was coerced into having sex with him at the age of 17 years old, and that he intends to challenge the jurisdiction in the case.
Lawyer Andrew Brettler went on the offensive against Virginia Giuffre by telling a New York judge her claim was “baseless, unsustainable and potentially illegal.”
Andrew has repeatedly denied allegations in the lawsuit filed by Giuffre, who said that as a teenager living in Florida she was one of many girls and young women sexually assaulted by sex offender and millionaire Jeffrey Epstein .
In her trial and in interviews, Giuffre says she traveled to London with Epstein in 2001 and had sex with Andrew, after a night of dancing, at the home of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell Giuffre said that ‘Epstein paid her $ 15,000, then arranged for her to have two more sex with the prince in New York City and the US Virgin Islands.
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they choose to come forward publicly, as Giuffre did.
Andrew has denied the allegations, saying in an interview that he has no recollection of ever having met Giuffre, although at least one photograph appears to show them together.
Brettler told the judge that the lawsuit against Andrew – who is the Duke of York – is barred by a previous settlement agreement that “frees the Duke and others from potential liability.” He added that Andrew intended to ask the UK High Court to rule on the matter.
“We have serious concerns about the merits of this lawsuit,” Brettler said.
Giuffre had previously settled a lawsuit against Maxwell over his allegations. Maxwell is now awaiting trial in the United States for helping recruit young victims for Epstein to abuse. This case does not involve either Giuffre or Andrew. Epstein committed suicide weeks after his arrest in 2019.
Brettler made a procedural argument on Andrew’s behalf at the first pre-trial conference, claiming on Monday that Giuffre’s legal team had failed to take the necessary steps to get the case started, including providing Andrew with a copy of the trial. Lawyers for Giuffre said the documents were handed over to a police officer on duty at the main gates of Andrew’s home in Windsor Great Park on August 27.
US Judge Lewis Kaplan did not immediately rule on the matter, but told lawyers that all bureaucratic hurdles regarding the meaning of the lawsuit would ultimately be resolved and the case would be argued.
“Let’s get rid of all the technicalities and get to the bottom of it,” he said.
The Independent Gt