Virginia Giuffre welcomes judge’s ruling to allow sex abuse suit against Prince Andrew to go to trial

Virginia Giuffre says she is ‘pleased’ with the judge’s ruling and ‘looks forward to a judicial determination of the merits of those claims’

Rachel Sharp
Wednesday 12 January 2022 19:15
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Judge denies Prince Andrew’s bid to dismiss Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit
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The woman who accuses Prince Andrew of sexually assaulting her as a child has welcomed a judge’s ruling to allow her sex abuse lawsuit to proceed to trial.

Virginia Giuffre said she is “pleased” that a federal judge in New York rejected the royal’s motion to toss the lawsuit on Wednesday, moving one step closer to the possibility that the prince will be called to testify in US court.

“Virginia Giuffre is, of course, pleased that Prince Andrew’s motion to dismiss has been denied, and that evidence will now be taken concerning her claims against him,” Ms Giuffre’s attorney David Boise said in a statement.

“She looks forward to a judicial determination of the merits of those claims.”

Ms Giuffre has long claimed that she was sex-trafficked to the prince by his former associates and convicted sex abusers Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

She accuses the prince of having sex with her when she was 17 and claims that he was aware she was underage at the time.

The alleged abuse took place at Maxwell’s London townhouse, Epstein’s private Caribbean island Little St James and Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, she claims.

Prince Andrew strongly denies the allegations and has not been criminally charged.

Ms Giuffre brought a civil lawsuit against the prince in August for battery and infliction of emotional distress, but the prince’s legal team was battling to have the suit thrown out.

Attorneys for the royal had argued that the terms of a settlement reached between Ms Giuffre and Epstein in 2009 protected the prince from any future legal liability.

They argued that the $500,000 settlement included a non-prosecution agreement for Epstein and his associates.

On Wednesday, Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that there was “no basis” that the prince was protected by the 2009 settlement and said that the civil suit can now proceed to trial.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the judge’s decision, telling The Independent in a statement: “We would not comment on what is an ongoing legal matter.”

The judge previously said the trial could begin between September and December 2022.

Prince Andrew, who was infamously photographed with a young Ms Giuffre and Maxwell in Maxwell’s London townhouse, has repeatedly sought to distance himself from his former friends Epstein and Maxwell.

Epstein died in his prison cell in 2019 while also awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking at a high-profile trial in New York in December and is awaiting sentencing.

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