Prince Andrew asks US court to dismiss ‘baseless’ sex case
Britain’s Prince Andrew insisted his sexual assault accuser was out to profit from a “baseless lawsuit” against him as he asked a New York court to dismiss the case Friday.
In a filing in Manhattan, the Duke of York’s lawyers accused Virginia Giuffre of suing the prince “to achieve another payday” from her accusations against the late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
“Most people could only dream of obtaining the sums of money that Giuffre has secured for herself over the years,” wrote attorney Andrew Brettler.
“This presents a compelling motive for Giuffre to continue filing frivolous lawsuits against individuals such as Prince Andrew, whose sullied reputation is only the latest collateral damage of the Epstein scandal,” he added.
Giuffre alleges Epstein, who killed himself while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges in 2019, lent her out for sex with his wealthy and powerful associates.
The 38-year-old sued Andrew for unspecified damages in August, claiming he sexually assaulted her more than 20 years ago when she was 17 and a minor under US state law.
Andrew, 61, has been not been criminally charged and has repeatedly and strenuously denied the allegations.
Last month, Queen Elizabeth II’s second son accepted that he had been served legal papers in the case and was instructed to respond to the lawsuit by October 29.
His lawyers did so on Friday, requesting that the lawsuit be dismissed “for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.”
Alternatively, they asked that Giuffre “provide a more definitive statement of her allegations.”
“Virginia Giuffre may well be a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein, and nothing can excuse, nor fully capture, the abhorrence and gravity of Epstein’s monstrous behavior against Giuffre, if so,” they wrote.
“However, and without diminishing the harm suffered as a results of Epstein’s alleged misconduct, Prince Andrew never sexually abused or assaulted Giuffre. He unequivocally denies Giuffre’s false allegations against him.”
Giuffre alleges that Andrew sexually abused her at the London home of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
She also said he assaulted her at the New York home of Epstein, as well as at Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.
Andrew’s lawyers said Giuffre “purportedly received millions of dollars” from a 2017 settlement after she sued Maxwell.
They also argued that a 2009 settlement she signed with Epstein prevented her from suing anyone else in relation her sexual abuse allegations.
A lawyer for Giuffre did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Andrew has rarely been seen in public since he was forced to quit the royal frontline in 2019 for failing to distance himself from Epstein.
Maxwell is due to go on trial in New York on November 29 on charges that she recruited underage girls for Epstein to abuse. She has pleaded not guilty. AFP