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The lawsuit that cost Prince Andrew his royal titles

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Britain's Prince Andrew has been stripped of his military titles and royal patronages.

That means the Queen’s second son will no longer be known as ‘His Royal Highness.’

It comes as Prince Andrew faces a U.S. civil lawsuit

in which Virginia Giuffre accuses him of sexually abusing her when she was a teenager.

Here’s what we know about the lawsuit and what it means for Andrew.

Giuffre sued Andrew in New York in 2021.

She says he forced her to have intercourse at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and Jeffrey Epstein's longtime associate.

Epstein, a teacher-turned-globetrotting financier, died by suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.

Maxwell was convicted in December 2021 of sex trafficking and other crimes.

How has Andrew responded?

Andrew's lawyers have called the lawsuit - quote - "baseless," and accused Giuffre of seeking a payday.

In 2019 Andrew told the BBC he could not have had sex with Giuffre at Maxwell's home

because he had returned to his house that night after a children's party.

This disastrous interview – and his connections to Epstein – forced him to step down from public duties.

Andrew's lawyers argued that Giuffre signed away her right to sue the prince

in a 2009 settlement with Epstein.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected that argument, ruling that Giuffre could pursue her claims against the prince.

Kaplan's decision keeps the case on track for a potential trial

that could start between September and December 2022.

How could the lawsuit harm Andrew?

If the case goes to trial and Giuffre wins,

Andrew could be ordered to pay her damages. She has asked for an unspecified amount.

No criminal charges could result from Giuffre's lawsuit since it is a civil case.

As for his reputation…the royal family's recent move means Andrew will now lose all this royal connections.

Buckingham Palace said in a statement: "The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen."

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