Princess Beatrice will not have to take the stand in Prince Andrew sexual abuse case

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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)
  • Princess Beatrice
    Elder daughter of Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Sarah Ferguson
  • Virginia Giuffre
    Alleged victim of the underage sex trafficking ring operated by Jeffrey Epstein
Princess Beatrice (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)
Princess Beatrice (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)

Princess Beatrice will not be forced to take the stand in her father’s sexual abuse case.

Prince Andrew is facing a trial over allegations he sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre when she was underage after a US judge ruled her civil lawsuit can proceed on Wednesday.

The 61-year-old has vehemently denied the allegations.

He claims he took eldest daughter Beatrice to a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking, Surrey, on the night Ms Giuffre alleges he had sex with her.

As a result, speculation has been mounting that the 33-year-old could be called to the stand as a key witness.

However, in a surprise move, lawyers for Virginia Roberts Giuffre said they do not plan to seek a deposition from the duke’s daughter, the Daily Telegraph reports.

They only plan to seek depositions from two British witnesses.

Robert Olney, the duke’s former equerry, will be called to the stand alongside Shuki Walker, who claims to have seen Andrew at Tramp nightclub in London on the night he is alleged to have had sex with Ms Giuffre.

The judge’s decision to proceed with the civil lawsuit came as a huge blow for Prince Andrew.

His lawyer had previously argued the case should be thrown out as Ms Giuffre had waived her right to pursue the duke by signing a confidential settlement with the disgraced financier and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

In the conclusion of his written ruling, Judge Kaplan said: "For the foregoing reasons, defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint or for a more definite statement is denied in all respects.

"Given the court’s limited task of ruling on this motion, nothing in this opinion or previously in these proceedings properly may be construed as indicating a view with respect to the truth of the charges or countercharges or as to the intention of the parties in entering into the 2009 Agreement."

Andrew had pinned part of his hopes for dismissing the case on the 2009 settlement which Ms Guiffre signed with Epstein. The agreement mentioned “royalty” but did not refer to the duke by name. He argued he could be considered under the deal as a “potential defendant”, but the judge said the language was “ambiguous”.

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