Prince Andrew was served with a sexual assault lawsuit in the United States.
The court documents are the latest update in years of allegations tied to convicted sex offender and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The Duke of York is accused by Virginia Giuffre of forcing her to have sex with him when she was 17.
Giuffre’s lawyers said Andrew was first served the papers a few weeks ago at the end of August, but his legal team disputed the claims and contested that the papers had not been served properly.
The latest legal papers were sent to the law firm Lavely and Singer in Los Angeles to his lawyer, Andrew B. Brettler. Papers were also delivered to the Royal Courts of Justice in the UK. The legal team has finally accepted that the papers were served correctly.
US district judge Lewis Kaplan will hear the case in New York. Giuffre’s lawyers had previously asked Kaplan to intervene in the dispute of whether the papers were properly served, arguing that serving papers “is not intended to be a game of hide and seek behind palace walls.” The long back-and-forth has come to an end with the acceptance of these papers.
Giuffre brings a civil sexual assault lawsuit against Prince Andrew, seeking damages for sexual assault and sexual battery. She alleges that Epstein paid her to have sex with Andrew while she was underage at the home of his then-girlfriend, socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, in London.
The Duke now has three weeks to respond to the suit. Giuffre’s lawyers expect the royal’s legal team to apply for an extension to respond to the complaint.
This lawsuit was considered a landmark development in the case against Andrew, because it means a lawsuit will indeed take place, and the royal will likely have to appear in court to testify.