Prince Andrew has denied that convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell was a close friend. The denial was made in an 11-page court document filed by the royal’s legal team. It was one of many claims that the legal team made in order to argue why they believe the civil lawsuit should be completely dismissed.
The lawsuit was brought by Virginia Giuffre, who has accused Andrew of assaulting her when she was 17 at homes owned by Maxwell and her longtime partner and associate, the late convicted pedophile and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
In the royal’s latest court documents, it states that Prince Andrew admits that he met Epstein, but denies that he participated in any of the late sex offender’s abuse.
It specifically addresses the now-famous photograph of Andrew with his arm around Giuffre, where Maxwell is standing and smiling behind them. The lawyers said that they do not have enough information to deny or to admit to the photo’s existence.
The document “denies” Giuffre’s claim that Maxwell and Andrew were closer friends.
The purpose of the document is to list the reasons why the case should be thrown out. It also demands that there is a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint. This latter point, experts say, is merely a PR stunt, because Giuffre has already called for a jury trial.
Experts say that therefore the request is meaningless because it is Giuffre’s constitutional right to have a trial by jury if she requests it.
Analysts and experts have said they believe the royal’s legal team has a strategy to make it seem like if the case goes to trial, Giuffre’s reputation will be damaged.
Women’s rights activists, as well as legal experts, have said, however, that this apparent strategy of attempting to blame Giuffre for her conduct is victim-blaming, and will likely not fare well for the prince in court.