Deadline set for evidence in Prince Andrew’s sex assault lawsuit

Andrew and accuser Virginia Giuffre expected to answer questions under oath

Katy Clifton
Tuesday 26 October 2021 01:13
<p>Prince Andrew has denied the allegations against him </p>

Prince Andrew has denied the allegations against him

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The deadline for depositions to be completed in the sexual assault lawsuit against the Duke of York has been set for mid-July of next year.

While not specified in the court papers, both Andrew and his accuser Virginia Giuffre are expected to answer questions under oath.

Ms Giuffre has accused Andrew of sexually assaulting her as a teenager, claims he vehemently denies. She is seeking unspecified damages from the 61-year-old, whose lawyer has dismissed the accusations as “baseless”.

District judge Lewis Kaplan, who serves in the Southern District of New York, has now ruled that depositions must be completed on or before 14 July 2022.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations will take place in June, potentially setting up a clash with Andrew’s legal issues over the summer.

In the scheduling order, signed by lawyers for both parties, the judge also ruled a pretrial order, which sets out the course of the case, is due by 28 July. He also said no additional parties are allowed to join the case after 15 December.

Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the duke’s former friend, to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.

Andrew has not been charged with any crime.

Virginia Giuffre (centre) has accused Andrew of sexually assaulting her as a teenager

Earlier this month Metropolitan Police said it was taking no action over Ms Giuffre’s claims.

The case has proved ruinous for the duke’s image.

In a Newsnight interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis in November 2019, Andrew denied claims that he slept with Ms Giuffre on three separate occasions and said: “I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened.

“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”

The duke also said he has no memory of a well-known photograph of him with his arm around Ms Giuffre’s waist and has questioned whether it was his own hand in the image.

The fallout from the interview saw the royal criticised for showing a lack of empathy towards Epstein’s victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with disgraced financier.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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