Prince Andrew: Decision on duke's bid to get Virginia Giuffre court case dismissed due 'pretty soon', judge says

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·3-min read
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  • Prince Andrew, Duke of York
    Prince Andrew, Duke of York
    Second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born 1960)
  • Virginia Giuffre
    Alleged victim of the underage sex trafficking ring operated by Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew's lawyers have insisted Virginia Giuffre must provide more details about the royal's alleged sexual assault, as a judge considers whether to dismiss a lawsuit against him.

Ms Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, is suing Andrew after claiming he "committed sexual assault and battery" upon her when she was a teenager.

Andrew Brettler, representing the Duke of York, attempted to have the civil lawsuit thrown out during a hearing in the US on Tuesday, where a judge said he would reveal his decision "pretty soon".

Prince Andrew court hearing - this is what happened, as it happened

The duke's lawyer told the court Ms Giuffre "needs to lock herself into a story now" and claimed she "doesn't articulate what supposedly happened to her at the hands of Prince Andrew".

"We don't even have a date, a time, a location other than an apartment, we don't know when this was," Mr Brettler said.

"She doesn't explain what this alleged abuse was.

"We do not know the details of these allegations and it's time that we do before Prince Andrew is forced to answer these very serious allegations."

However, Judge Andrew Kaplan insisted Ms Giuffre "has no obligation to do that in a complaint", adding: "I understand your point, it just isn't the law."

Andrew's lawyer says lawsuit should 'absolutely be dismissed'

When the duke's lawyer said "we don't know what the conduct was", the judge replied: "Involuntary sexual intercourse. There's no doubt what that means."

Mr Brettler argued that Andrew "should not be dragged into this court 20 years after" the alleged assault was said to have taken place.

"Witnesses die, witnesses may be incarcerated," he added.

The duke's lawyer told the hearing in New York that the lawsuit should "absolutely be dismissed", claiming it was "unfair" and "unjust".

The hearing came a day after a 2009 settlement between Ms Giuffre and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein was made public, revealing he agreed to pay her $500,000 (£370,000) to end her legal claims against him.

What has Prince Andrew been accused of?

The document said Ms Giuffre had agreed to "release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge" Epstein and "any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant".

But Ms Giuffre's lawyer, David Boies, told Tuesday's hearing that Andrew could not be considered a "potential defendant" in the 2009 lawsuit.

He has argued that Ms Giuffre's settlement with Epstein was "irrelevant" to her lawsuit against Andrew because it applied to people involved in litigation in Florida, which did not include the royal.

Who's who in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal?

Judge Kaplan told both parties he would make a decision on whether to dismiss the case against the duke "very soon".

He said: "I appreciate the arguments and the passion.

"You will have a decision very soon."

Ms Giuffre alleges that she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17, and was pictured with the royal and Ghislaine Maxwell during the period the alleged intercourse took place.

Maxwell was last week found guilty of recruiting underage girls to be sexually abused by her ex-boyfriend, Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

Andrew, who has not been charged with any criminal offences, has vehemently denied the allegations against him.

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