Prince Andrew ‘may try to claim diplomatic immunity over sex abuse claim’, Epstein victims’ lawyer says

Duke of York strenuously denies all allegations made against him

Joanna Taylor
Monday 16 August 2021 23:12

Prince Andrew’s lawyers may try to have the allegations of sexual abuse levelled at him dismissed by arguing that diplomatic immunity means he cannot be prosecuted, a lawyer has reportedly claimed.

Spencer Kuvin, who represents several of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, told The Mirror that the prince’s legal team are “sure” to consider the move, adding that they would have a “strong case”.

In 2001, when Virginia Giuffre alleges that the Duke of York sexually assaulter her, Prince Andrew was a trade envoy – a position that holds diplomatic immunity – which could make him exempt from any form of prosecution.

Prince Andrew has strenuously denied all allegations made against him.

Mr Kuvin told The Mirror that he expects the prince’s legal team to file a motion to dismiss Ms Giuffre’s complaint and that his former trade envoy status is likely to be considered.

“Ms Giuffre’s lawyers have huge barriers to overcome to get her lawsuit anywhere near a jury,” he said.

“If the Duke engages in the case at all, his legal team will undoubtedly file a motion to dismiss the complaint on numerous different grounds.

“For sure, they would argue diplomatic immunity. They would have a strong case.”

Ms Giuffre is suing Prince Andrew in a US court, alleging that he sexually abused her at Epstein’s mansion in New York and two other locations.

Her suit alleges that she was “compelled by express or implied threats” to “engage in sexual acts with Prince Andrew” by Epstein and others.

In previous court statements, filed in another case, Ms Giuffre alleged that the pedophile directed her to have sex with Prince Andrew on three occasions in 2001, in New York, London and the US Virgin Islands.

Those claims were strongly rejected by Buckingham Palace.

A Palace statement said: “It is emphatically denied that [Prince Andrew] had any form of sexual contact or relationship with [Ms Giuffre]. The allegations made are false and without any foundation.”

Ms Giuffre is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages which Mr Kuvin told The Mirror could “easily” amount to upward of £14m if Prince Andrew were to lose the case.

An initial court hearing, in the form of a telephone conference, has been scheduled for 13 September.