Princess Beatrice and Sarah Ferguson could be questioned as part of Prince Andrew’s sexual assault case.
The Duke of York’s eldest daughter and ex-wife may be cross-examined on camera by Judge Lewis Kaplan after the Duke of York’s attempt to have the case dismissed was thrown out on Wednesday, meaning he faces trial in Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit.
The 61-year-old has vehemently denied Ms Giuffre’s allegations she was forced to have sex with him more than two decades ago.
His legal team has been asked to supply evidence to support his claims he took Princess Beatrice to a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking, Surrey, on the night Ms Giuffre alleges he had sex with her.
Both Princess Beatrice and Sarah Ferguson could face questioning about that evening and the following days, the Times has reported.
According to the newspaper, this could take place in June as the nation marks the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
David Boies, Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, whose cross-examination of Ghislaine Maxwell played a significant part in subsequent perjury charges against her, will be able to question Prince Andrew on conversations he had with the Queen as well as the allegations against him.
New York district judge Lewis Kaplan wants depositions to be completed by July and with an aim for the case to be ready for trial by 28 July, although he does not expect it to start until September.
It is not yet clear if the royal will have to travel to the United States or be required to give evidence another way, such as over video.
In his ruling on Wednesday, Judge Kaplan said the 2009 settlement could not shield Andrew from the civil lawsuit.
He said the key phrase Andrew’s lawyers relied upon – that “other potential defendants” were covered by the settlement deal – was “far from self evident for a number of reasons”.
“[Andrew] argues that he ‘could have been included’ as a ‘potential defendant’ in the Florida case because Ms Giuffre made a general reference to ‘royalty’ in her Florida complaint, even though it did not name Prince Andrew as a defendant nor even mention his name,” Judge Kaplan says in the decision.
The judge said there was “no basis” for Andrew being included as a defendant in the 2009 case.
The decision was a huge blow for the Duke of York, as a lawyer for some of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims told the Daily Mirror “nothing will be off limits” when Andrew is deposed.
Spencer Kuvin claimed the Duke could face questions about his sex life and intimate details about his body.
Meanwhile, Ms Giuffre’s lawyer David Boise last night said she was not interested in a “purely financial” settlement with the Duke, saying she is seeking to be “vindicated”.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment “on what is an ongoing legal matter”.
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