Prince Andrew to challenge US court’s jurisdiction over Virginia Giuffre sex assault case

·2-min read
 (REUTERS)
(REUTERS)

Prince Andrew plans to challenge a U.S. court’s jurisdiction over a civil lawsuit by a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting and battering her two decades ago, according to a court filing on Monday.

In the filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, a lawyer for Andrew said the prince also plans to contest he was properly served with the lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, who has said she was also abused by the financier Jeffrey Epstein.

A pre-trial conference on Monday is due to take place to determine whether the papers were properly delivered.

Ms Giuffre’s lawyers have said the documents were handed to a Metropolitan Police officer on duty at the main gates of Andrew’s home in Windsor Great Park on 27 August.

Lawyers for Giuffre did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Lawyers for Virginia Giuffre have filed the papers in a New York court. File image. (BBC Panorama/PA) (PA Media)
Lawyers for Virginia Giuffre have filed the papers in a New York court. File image. (BBC Panorama/PA) (PA Media)

The 61-year-old royal is one of the most prominent people linked to Epstein who US prosecutors charged in July 2019 with sexually exploiting dozens of girls and women.

Epstein, a registered sex offender, killed himself at age 66 in a Manhattan jail on August 10, 2019.

Giuffre has accused Andrew of forcing her in 2001, when she was 17, to have unwanted sexual intercourse at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and Epstein’s longtime associate.

Giuffre also said Andrew abused her at Epstein’s mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and on a private island Epstein owned in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Andrew has denied Giuffre’s claims of sexual abuse.

In a BBC Newsnight interview in 2019, Prince Andrew said he had never had sex with Ms Giuffre, saying: “I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened.”

The duke said he had “no recollection” of ever meeting her and that there were “a number of things that are wrong” about her account.

He has also suggested a photo showing him with his arm around Ms Giuffre may have been doctored.

Watch: Prince Andrew: Photo of legal papers being posted to the duke released by lawyers for Virginia Giuffre

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