Prince Andrew to be served court papers in person, says sexual assault accuser’s lawyer

Duke of York is being sued in the US by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges he sexually abused her when she was 17

Chiara Giordano
Saturday 14 August 2021 21:24
<p>Prince Andrew is expected to be served court papers in person, Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer has confirmed.</p>

Prince Andrew is expected to be served court papers in person, Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer has confirmed.

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Prince Andrew is expected to be served court papers in person, Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer has confirmed.

The Duke of York is being sued in the US by Ms Giuffre, who claims she was raped by the royal at the age of 17, a minor under US law – allegedly as part of the sex trafficking activities of Jeffrey Epstein.

Lawyers filed the civil suit seeking unspecified damages at a federal court in New York, where the court documents claim Ms Giuffre, now 38, “feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions” if she disobeyed Epstein, his associate Ghislaine Maxwell or Prince Andrew.

Prince Andrew has strenuously denied all allegations made against him.

Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, suggested it could take weeks to serve court papers to the duke in person.

He told The Telegraph: “We present him with a copy of the complaint in a formal way.

“Because he is a foreign citizen, we have to do this under the Hague Convention.”

Mr Boies earlier this week accused Prince Andrew of “stonewalling” Ms Giuffre’s legal team.

He told Channel 4 News it would be “ill-advised” for anyone to “thumb their nose at a federal court”.

Claiming the duke’s lawyers had not cooperated, he added: “They have just totally stonewalled.

“They have refused to provide any explanation; they refuse to engage in any discussions.”

Manhattan federal court judge Lewis Kaplan has scheduled an initial court hearing for 13 September, which will take place as a telephone conference.

Virginia Giuffre (centre) alleges she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and sexually abused by Prince Andrew

It is not yet clear whether Prince Andrew or Ms Giuffre will be required to join the call.

Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son, is currently staying at the royal Scottish retreat of Balmoral Castle, where he was pictured arriving on Tuesday evening accompanied by ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.

His brother Charles, the Prince of Wales, was also seen arriving with wife Camilla on Friday.

Prince Charles has reportedly said his brother, the Duke of York, will never return to public life because of the “spectre” of his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in prison.

A source close to Prince Charles said he believed that even if the case against Andrew fails, the duke’s association with Epstein was a reminder of the “reputational damage” caused to the family.

Andrew stepped back from public duties after the backlash from his “car crash” 2019 Newsnight interview, which had attempted to draw a line under his relationship with Epstein – but instead saw him heavily criticised for showing little empathy with the sex offender’s victims.

The Independent has contacted David Boies for comment.