Prince Andrew 'refusing to be served with sexual assault lawsuit'

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The Duke of York ahead of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle, Berkshire. Picture date: Saturday April 17, 2021.
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has been accused of avoiding being served with papers in a sexual assault lawsuit. (PA)

Prince Andrew is avoiding being served with a sexual assault lawsuit, his accuser’s lawyer has claimed.

David Boies, the lawyer for Virginia Giuffre who is accusing the Duke of sexual abuse, told ABC News in the US that the prince had stopped appearing in public to avoid being served with papers.

Giuffre, who has said she was abused by disgraced banker Jeffrey Epstein, claims the Duke of York sexually assaulted her when she was under the age of 18 in London.

Boies told ABC News said: "Process servers have shown up at his residence, and they have refused to take the summons and refused to let the process servers in to serve,"

Boies, chairman of New York law firm Boies Schiller Flexner, which represents Giuffre, said: “He has stopped coming out in public. He has been moving around.”

Earlier this week, the prince, 61, was pictured arriving at Balmoral Castle to stay with the Queen.

Read more: What Prince Andrew said about Giuffre in his 'Newsnight' interview

Virginia Roberts Giuffre during an interview in New York on August 29, 2019. Giuffre and other victims of Jeffrey Epstein were in New York following an emotional hearing where about two dozen of Epstein's victims spoke about they abuse they suffered. (Photo by Emily Michot/Miami Herald/TNS/Sipa USA)
Virginia Giuffre has issued a lawsuit claiming sexual assault against Prince Andrew. (PA)

The civil suit against the duke by Giuffre, now 38, was issued last month.

At the time, Boies said Prince Andrew would be served the papers in person.

It stated: "It is long past the time for him to be held to account."

Prince Andrew has "categorically" denied he abused Giuffre.

The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages claims Giuffre, then known as Virginia Roberts, was "lent out for sexual purposes" by convicted sex offender Epstein, an acquaintance of the duke’s who took his own life in jail in August 2019.

The suit alleges that Epstein had "12 different contact numbers listed for Prince Andrew."

It claims the prince forced Giuffre to "engage in sex acts against her will".

The British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend, is mentioned throughout the lawsuit, which includes the infamous photo of Prince Andrew, Ms Giuffre and Maxwell at Maxwell’s home.

The duke has previously said he has no memory of this photo.

The Duke of York drives his Bentley into Buckingham Palace, London as he arrives for the Queen's Christmas lunch.
The Duke of York has rarely been seen in public in the past two years. (PA)

Read more: Prince Andrew and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson join Queen at Balmoral

It also alleges that Maxwell forced Giuffre and "another victim to sit on Prince Andrew’s lap as Prince Andrew touched her" at Epstein’s New York mansion.

In a Newsnight interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis in November 2019, Prince Andrew denied claims he slept with Giuffre on three separate occasions, saying: "I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever."

Maxwell will go on trial in November in New York having pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges.

Last month, Boies accused Prince Andrew of being "totally uncooperative", saying he and his legal team had failed to engage with him and his client for five years.

According to ABC News, Andrew's legal representatives wrote a letter on 6 September to a British judicial official complaining that Giuffre's legal team were not following correct procedure in their highly publicised pursuit of the Duke.

The letter reportedly contends that any request for Andrew to comply with the lawsuit should come via a judicial or diplomatic officer in the United States and not from Giuffre's own legal team.

Yahoo News UK has asked Andrew's legal representatives for comment.

An initial hearing in Giuffre's lawsuit is scheduled for Monday.

Boies told ABC News he plans to tell the court that attempts have been made to serve Prince Andrew at his residence, as well as by email.

Watch: Prince Andrew sued by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre

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