As part of the sex case brought against Prince Andrew by accuser Virginia Giuffre, the Duke of York’s legal team today filed court papers in New York.
Giuffre claims that billionaire Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell trafficked her for sex with the Prince in London in 2001, when she was 17 and a minor under US law.
The mother-of-three also alleges that, at Epstein’s home in New York and the US Virgin Islands, she was forced to have sex with royalty.
Prince Andrew has denied all the allegations against him, officially filing papers today in court.
But Ms Giuffre is suing Andrew for unspecified damages and US lawyers say this could “easily” exceed £14m if successful.
A trial is scheduled for later this year.
Here are five bombshells that come from the court documents.
Andrew denies ever being close friends with Maxwell.
Prince Andrew admits to befriending pedophile Jeffrey Epstein but denies ever being close friends with convicted sex offender Ghislaine Maxwell.
British socialite Maxwell, 60, was convicted Dec. 29 of five counts of sex trafficking and other counts of recruiting and grooming teenagers for the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004.
Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison when she is sentenced by US District Judge Alison Nathan in New York.
Andrew’s denials were part of his “affirmative response and defenses” to Giuffre’s civil lawsuit against him.
In the 11-page document, Andrew denied any wrongdoing, but he did say in this document that he met Epstein “around 1999.”
Claims he wasn’t a frequent guest at Epstein’s homes
The Duke, 61, said it was not true that he was “a frequent guest at Epstein’s various homes around the world, including in New York City, where he allegedly sexually abused plaintiff Giuffre at the invitation of Epstein and Maxwell.” when she was a minor.
Convicted sex offender Epstein was arrested in July 2019 for sex trafficking girls as young as 14.
He committed suicide about a month later in a Manhattan jail, while awaiting trial.
He claims that Giuffre and/or others may have been responsible for his own abuse.
The Prince refutes his main claim of “sexual abuse” and “rape” when he was “under the age of 18”.
His lawyers state: “Assuming, without admitting, that Giuffre suffered any injury or damage, Giuffre and/or others, other than Prince Andrew, contributed in whole or in part to the alleged damage.”
Andrew’s legal team also includes “consent” and the “dirty hands doctrine,” which is an accusation that Giuffre has acted unethically in connection with the allegations, among his defenses.
“Giuffre’s alleged causes of action are barred in whole or in part by his own wrongful conduct,” they wrote.
Giuffre, 38, brought a case against Andrew using New York’s Child Victims Act (CVA), which allowed abused individuals to sue their alleged attackers.
Demand a jury trial
Court documents state that the Duke “hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the lawsuit.”
The case will now move to the discovery phase of the lawsuit, with both sides required to call expert witnesses by May 13.
The next day, both parties can object to who the other intends to call.
Any discovery, including sworn statements from witnesses, must be filed in court by July 15.
Judge Lewis Kaplan has indicated that the trial will begin in September at the earliest, but before the end of the year.
Duke claims case should be dismissed as Giuffre lives in Australia
Court documents filed by the Duke also state that the case should be dismissed on the grounds that Ms Giuffre is a resident of Australia.
His legal documents say he “disputes that Giuffre is domiciled in the state of Colorado” and adds “on that basis (he) denies the allegations” she is a United States citizen.
Andrew’s legal team wants Ms. Giuffre’s case dismissed on the grounds that she does not have the right to sue in New York as neither party is a US resident.
In a motion to dismiss the case, her attorney, Andrew Brettler, tells the court: “Giuffre’s lawsuit should be dismissed because this court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the action, due to Giuffre’s incorrect assertion of diversity. of jurisdiction even though she is a permanent resident of Australia and not a Colorado domicile.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.