Advertisement

We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

PA
virginia giuffre

Prince Andrew cannot halt sex assault lawsuit with residency claim, judge says

Virginia Giuffre says she was abused by the prince on multiple occasions in 2001 while she was being sexually assaulted by financier Jeffrey Epstein.

PRINCE ANDREW’S EFFORT to immediately block the progression of a lawsuit by a woman who says he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 – on the grounds that she no longer lives in the US – has been rejected by a federal judge.

Judge Lewis A Kaplan, in a written order Friday, told the prince’s lawyers they must turn over documents on the schedule that has been set in the lawsuit brought in August by Virginia Giuffre.

Giuffre says she was abused by the prince on multiple occasions in 2001 while she was being sexually assaulted by financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew has denied all the allegations.

The prince’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, has called the lawsuit “baseless”.

The order was filed three days before the scheduled public release of a 2009 settlement agreement between Epstein and Giuffre.

Lawyers for Andrew say that the agreement protects the prince from claims like those brought by Giuffre and will be sufficient grounds for the lawsuit’s dismissal.

The prince’s lawyers had claimed the evidence was so strong that Giuffre does not reside in the United States that it was pointless to exchange evidence until that question is resolved because it could result in the lawsuit’s dismissal.

They argued that Giuffre has lived in Australia all but two of the past 19 years, has an Australian driver’s licence and lives in a home in Perth, Western Australia, where she has been raising three children with her husband, who is Australian.

In a statement, Giuffre attorney Sigrid McCawley called the request to halt the case “just another in a series of tired attempts by Prince Andrew to duck and dodge the legal merits of the case Virginia Giuffre has brought against him. All parties in litigation are subject to discovery and Prince Andrew is no exception”.

Judge Kaplan, in a one-page order, noted the prince’s lawyers have requested that “extensive” materials be turned over by Giuffre by 14 January, including documents related to where she has lived.

He also said the prince’s attorneys have not yet formally raised the defence that the lawsuit cannot proceed on the grounds that Giuffre has been living in Australia rather than Colorado, where her lawyers say she is a resident.

His order expressed no opinion on the merits of the prince’s claims that Giuffre should be disqualified from suing because she lives in Australia.

Oral arguments via a video teleconference on the prince’s request to dismiss the case are scheduled for Monday morning.

In October, the prince’s lawyers attacked the lawsuit on multiple grounds, saying Giuffre had made false claims against Andrew because he “never sexually abused or assaulted” her.

“Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him. Epstein’s abuse of Giuffre does not justify her public campaign against Prince Andrew,” the written arguments said.

Epstein died by suicide in a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019 as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.

His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was convicted on Wednesday of charges including sex trafficking and conspiracy after a month-long trial.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.