Prince Andrew is facing a deadline today to file a response to a lawsuit filed against him in New York by his sex abuse accuser Virginia Roberts.
Roberts served last month court papers on the Duke of York. Roberts claims Andrew sexually assaulted her multiple times in 2001 when she turned 17.
Roberts alleges she was told by notorious financier and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell to have sex with Andrew at Epstein’s mansion in New York and other locations. The allegations have been denied by the prince.
Andrew has until today to respond to her claims or face a default judgement. There is. A hearing will be held at a Manhattan court on November 3.
Andrew Brettler, a California-based attorney representing the prince is planning to file a motion dismissing the lawsuit, according a letter filed earlier in this week.
Brettler stated that the lawsuit was ‘baseless’, ‘non-viable’ and potentially unlawful during a hearing last month.
Yesterday Andrew broke cover at Windsor in Britain as a judge supported Brettler’s request that a 2009 settlement agreement between Epstein & Roberts be kept secret.
After Brettler requested that the document not be sealed, Lewis A Kaplan, New York US District Judge, made the ruling Wednesday. This was after Brettler had asked for the document to be sealed while the legal team fights to have Roberts’s lawsuit dismissed.
Prince Andrew (pictured yesterday at Windsor castle). Today is the deadline to respond to a New York lawsuit filed against him by Virginia Roberts, his sex abuse accuser.
Virginia Roberts (pictured), who claims Andrew sexually assaulted her multiple times in 2001, when she was 17, served the Duke of York with court papers.
Roberts claims she was told by Jeffrey Epstein (pictured), a notorious financier and pedophile, and Ghislaine Maxiwell to have sex at Andrew’s New York mansion and other locations. The allegations have been denied by the prince.
Andrew Brettler, the royal’s attorney believes that a 2009 legal agreement between Epstein and Giuffre absolves Andrew from all responsibility in the lawsuit that he called ‘baseless’
Roberts claimed in her lawsuit that she was trafficked to London at 17 years old by Epstein and forced into sex with Prince Ghislaine Maxwell’s home.
She also alleged that Andrew knew she was a victim of sex trafficking by Epstein, and also knew she was a minor under US law.
Brettler stated that neither Roberts nor the prince claimed that the release agreement should be sealed. However, they requested that it remain secret because it is subjected to a protective order by another New York judge who presided over a federal civil case.
Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein reached a settlement. Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his cell in 2019, aged 66, while awaiting a New York federal court sex trafficking trial. His suicide was ruled.
Brettler stated that the agreement “releases Prince Andrew from any purported liability arising out of the claims Ms. Giuffre made against Prince Andrew here”. Officially requested the Manhattan federal judge to keep the agreement sealed on Wednesday.
Roberts’s lawyers argue that Andrew’s attempt at relying on Epstein’s previous settlement agreement to dismiss the case will fail.
Miss Roberts’s lawyers have indicated that they will challenge the move by the prince’s team, stating there is ‘no proof’ he was ever intended by the previous legal arrangement.
“There is no evidence from Prince Andrew or any of the parties to this release that the release was ever intended for Prince Andrew, and we believe that the evidence will show that it wasn’t,” wrote Roberts’s lawyer David Boies in a court filing.
This 2001 photograph shows Andrew (left), with his arm around a Giuffre (17-year-old)’s midriff (center), while Ghislaine Maxill (right) smiles in the background
This is after Roberts’s lawyers claimed last month that the Prince had been served with the lawsuit. However, his legal team refuted this.
The issue of whether or not Andrew had been notified about the case – known as service of proceedings – was contested during the first pre-trial hearing of the civil case last month in New York.
Andrew has until today to respond to the confirmation that papers were served on 21 Sept.
Ms Giuffre accused Andrew of sexual abuse at his Manhattan mansion, as well as at his private Caribbean island and at the London home his madam Ghislaine Maxiwell. She is currently being held in New York prison awaiting sex abuse or grooming charges.
Roberts is seeking unspecified damages and is suing the price for the alleged abuse.
This comes after British police announced earlier this month that they have dropped their probe into the prince after conducting a review prompted by Giuffre’s claims.
Andrew has repeatedly denied having sex or meeting Roberts, despite a photograph of them together.
The Metropolitan Police had previously investigated the allegations made by Giuffre about Andrew, but they didn’t open an investigation because the case was one for the US authorities.
The police said that no action would be taken because Epstein’s alleged accomplice, Ghislaine Maxill, allegedly trafficked, groomed, and abused girls and women in the UK.
Maxwell is a British socialite who was Epstein’s once-girlfriend. She will be facing sex trafficking and other charges in New York in November. She has pleaded not guilt.
In November 2019, Andrew denied claims he had slept on three occasions with Ms Giuffre in a Newsnight interview. He said: ‘I absolutely categorically state that it never happened.
“I have no recollection of ever having met this lady, none whatsoever.”
The duke also stated that he does not remember Roberts holding a photograph of him wrapping his arm around Roberts’ waist. He has also questioned if it was his hand in the photo.
The interview resulted in the royal being criticized for not showing empathy towards Epstein’s victims, and for not feeling sorry for his friendship with the disgraced financier.
Next week is the hearing in Prince Andrew’s lawsuit.
Judge Kaplan ruled that all disclosures and depositions must be completed by July next year, with the agreement of both sides.
The commemorations will last throughout the year and will see senior royals – except Andrew – travel around the country and overseas.
Judge Kaplan plans to draw a line in any amendments to New York proceedings by December 15.
All disclosures regarding expert witnesses must be made by June 13, with the disclosure process completed one month later.
One US legal expert described scheduling orders as “brisk”.