Prince Andrew has been served with legal papers for a lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault.
The Duke of York is being sued in New York by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who alleges he sexually assaulted her when she was a minor. Giuffre said she was a victim of financier and convicted pedophile and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who was a former friend of Andrew. The lawsuit says Giuffre was sex trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17.
The lawsuit has been called a “colossal development,” because it means that the lawsuit will move forward. It will be likely that Prince Andrew will have to face deposition.
This week, a new lawyer for Andrew, Hollywood attorney Andrew Brettler, claimed the papers were not properly served to the royal, and stated his intent to challenge jurisdiction in the case.
Giuffre claims in 2001, she traveled to London with Epstein to have sex with Andrew following an evening spent at the home of Epstein’s former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. Giuffre says she was paid $15,000 by Epstein, who then arranged for two additional sexual encounters between her and the royal, one in New York, and one in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The prince denies Giuffre’s allegations. He previously claimed that he did not remember ever meeting Giuffre, however, a photograph shows the two of them together.
Andrew’s lawyer has said that the lawsuit is barred by an earlier settlement agreement that remains under seal. Brettler said that the previous agreement releases his client from all potential liability. He also stated intention to refer the matter to Britain’s High Court.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan is overseeing the case. Brettler this week made a procedural argument against the bureaucratic service of the lawsuit, to which Kaplan emphasized this would be resolved and that the case would, indeed, proceed.