Prince Andrew, accuser name witnesses in sex assault lawsuit
Prince Andrew will challenge his sexual assault accuser’s memory while her lawyers want to question a woman who purportedly saw him in a nightclub with a “young girl,” US court documents show.
Lawyers for Andrew and Virginia Giuffre, who has sued the British royal over alleged sexual abuse more than two decades ago, have named the first witnesses they hope to grill in the civil lawsuit.
Andrew’s attorneys said in a filing with a New York court late Friday that they were seeking testimony from Judith Lightfoot, Giuffre’s psychologist in her adopted home of Australia.
Lawyer Melissa Lerner said that the prince’s legal team want to quiz Lightfoot about what was discussed during her counseling sessions with Giuffre, who says she was trafficked to Andrew for sex in 2001.
Andrew’s team are seeking Lightfoot’s notes from the sessions and medical records, Lerner wrote in a formal “letter of request” submitted to US judge Lewis Kaplan that would compel testimony in Australia.
The prince’s lawyers argue that Giuffre “may suffer from false memories” and want to ask Lightfoot about the “theory of false memories,” the letter said.
They added that they also wished to question Robert Giuffre, who married the then Virginia Roberts in and around 2002. The couple live in Australia with their three children.
Lerner wrote that Giuffre’s husband would likely have information about her “alleged emotional and psychological harm and damages.” She said they also intended to ask him about Giuffre’s finances.
In a separate filing, Giuffre’s lawyers told judge Kaplan that they wanted to question two witnesses based in Britain, including Shukri Walker.
“(Walker) claims to have seen Prince Andrew at Tramp Nightclub in London with a young girl around the time that plaintiff contends Prince Andrew abused her in London after visiting Tramp Nightclub,” the wrote attorney Sigrid McCawley.
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“Because Prince Andrew has denied ever meeting plaintiff or being at Tramp Nightclub during the relevant time period, Ms. Walker’s testimony is highly relevant,” she added.
Giuffre alleges that Andrew sexually assaulted her at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell in March 2001 when she was 17 and a minor under US law.
She said the incident occurred after a night dancing at Tramp nightclub.
The prince has denied being at Tramp Nightclub with Giuffre, and has said he has no recollection of ever meeting her.
Giuffre, now 38, sued Andrew last year for unspecified damages, alleging that she was trafficked to him by Maxwell — who was convicted of sex trafficking last month — and the late disgraced money manager, Jeffrey Epstein.
As well as the London allegations, Giuffre also says Andrew assaulted her at Epstein’s home in New York, and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.
Andrew has repeatedly and strenuously denied the allegations and he has not been criminally charged.
Giuffre’s lawyers also want to interview Robert Olney, the prince’s former assistant, who they say “has relevant information” about Andrew’s relationship with Epstein.
Andrew was on Thursday stripped of his honorary military titles and charitable roles after judge Kaplan earlier in the week denied his plea to dismiss Giuffre’s case. AFP