Prince Andrew has asked a US judge to dismiss Virginia Giuffre’s civil lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was 17.
In a filing with the US district court in Manhattan on Friday, the Duke of York said the case should be dismissed because Giuffre failed to state a claim warranting relief.
He also said that if dismissal were not granted, Giuffre should provide a “more definitive statement” of her allegations.
Lawyers for Giuffre did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Giuffre, 38, who is one of Jeffrey Epstein’s most prominent accusers, sued Andrew for unspecified damages in August.
She accused him of forcing her to have sex when she was underage at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime associate of Epstein, the late financier and registered sex offender, more than two decades ago.
Giuffre also accused Andrew of abusing her at Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan, and on one of Epstein’s private islands in the US Virgin Islands.
Andrew, 61, a former friend of Epstein, has not been charged with crimes, and has “categorically” denied Giuffre’s claims.
The prince, who is also Queen Elizabeth’s second son, gave up many royal duties and lost support from charities and organizations after a disastrous November 2019 BBC interview in which he did not appear sympathetic toward Epstein’s victims.
Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince Andrew
In the early 90s, Ghislaine Maxwell, the daughter of British media tycoon Robert Maxwell, met investment banker and financier Jeffrey Epstein. Their relationship was initially romantic, but it evolved into something more akin to Maxwell being a confidante and personal assistant.
Prince Andrew was reportedly introduced to Epstein through their mutual friend Maxwell in 1999, and Epstein reportedly visited the Queen’s private retreat
Some have suggested the introduction was made earlier. A 2011 letter to the Times of London from the prince’s then private secretary, Alastair Watson, suggests Andrew and Epstein knew each other from the early 90s.
Andrew, Maxwell and Epstein are seen together at Donald
Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Later that year, Epstein and Maxwell
attend a joint birthday party at Windsor Castle hosted by the Queen.
Andrew and Epstein holiday together and are pictured on a yacht in Phuket, Thailand, surrounded by topless women. The Times of London reported the prince’s holiday was paid for by Epstein.
In the same year, Virginia Giuffre, then 17, claims to have had sex
with Andrew in Maxwell’s home in Belgravia, London. Giuffre, whose surname was
Roberts at the time of the alleged incidents, says she slept with Andrew
twice more, at Epstein’s
New York home and at an “orgy” on his private island in the Caribbean.
Epstein is jailed for 18 months by a Florida state court after pleading guilty to
Soon after his release, Epstein is visited by
Andrew in New York. The pair are photographed together in Central Park. Footage
emerges years later, reportedly shot on 6 December, that appears to show Andrew
inside Epstein’s Manhattan mansion waving goodbye to a woman from behind a door.
Andrew quits his role as UK trade envoy following a
furore over the Central Park photos.
Allegations that Andrew had sex with Giuffre emerge
in court documents in Florida related to Epstein. The papers say she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17, which is under the
age of consent under Florida law. Buckingham Palace denies the allegations. The claims against Andrew are later struck from US civil
court records following a federal judge’s ruling.
Andrew is accused of sexual
impropriety by a second alleged Epstein victim, Johanna Sjoberg. She claims he
touched her breast at the billionaire’s Manhattan apartment in 2001.
Buckingham Palace says the allegations are ‘categorically untrue’.
10 August 2019
Epstein is found dead in his jail cell after being re-arrested and charged with sex trafficking. A medical examiner says the death was a suicide.
A pilot on Epstein’s private jet later that month claims Andrew was a passenger on past flights with the financier and Giuffre.
Andrew takes part in a disastrous BBC TV interview during which he claims he could not have had sex with Giuffre because he was at home after a visit to Pizza Express in Woking, and that her description of his dancing with her beforehand could not be true because he was unable to sweat, and that he had “no recollection of ever meeting this lady”. After several days of negative reaction, Andrew announces he is to step back from public duties ‘for the foreseeable future’.
27 January 2020
US prosecutor Geoffrey Berman gives a public statement suggesting there has been ‘zero cooperation’ with the investigation from Andrew.
8 June 2020
After Berman again claims the prince has ‘completely shut the door’ on cooperating with the US investigation in March, lawyers for Andrew insist he has repeatedly offered to cooperate and accuse US prosecutors of misleading the public and breaching confidentiality.
Maxwell, who has seldom been seen in public in recent years, is arrested by the FBI on charges related to Epstein. Unsealed testimony from a 2015 civil case reveal a series of claims about her role in Epstein sex-trafficking ring, including allegations that she trained underage girls as sex slaves. She faces up to 80 years in prison if convicted in a trial now slated to start in November 2021.
24 September 2021
US officials confirm that Prince Andrew has received court papers relating to a sexual assault lawsuit from Giuffre, seeking damages. Her lawyers had earlier said the duke had officially been served with the papers, but his legal team had disputed the claim. Two weeks later, a court in New York grant the royal’s lawyers permission to see the confidential settlement agreement between Giuffre and Epstein.
11 October 2021
The Metropolitan police in London say they are taking no further action after a review of the allegations that Prince Andrew assaulted Giuffre. In August, the Met commissioner, Cressida Dick, had said “no one is above the law” and that she had “asked my team to have another look at the material”.
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Andrew’s filings included a 2009 settlement agreement between Giuffre and Epstein, which was filed under seal.
At a hearing last month, the prince’s lawyer Andrew Brettler told the US district judge Lewis Kaplan, who oversees Giuffre’s case, that he believed the settlement agreement “absolves our client from any and all liability”.
David Boies, one of Giuffre’s lawyers, has said he considered the agreement “irrelevant” to Giuffre’s case.
The next hearing is scheduled for 3 November.
Giuffre was sued separately for $20m on Thursday for allegedly defaming on Twitter an artist who has said she brought women to Epstein but denied being a recruiter.
The artist, Rina Oh Amen, sued over tweets including that she “procured & partook in the abuse of minors”. Amen called the tweets “maliciously false” and said Epstein also abused her.
Epstein killed himself at age 66 in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and other charges for allegedly helping recruit and groom underage girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. Her trial begins on 29 November.
Source by www.theguardian.com