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UK's Prince Andrew accepts US service of Virginia Giuffre’s sexual assault lawsuit


New York - A joint filing between the Duke of York and the victim agrees that the service was effective as of September 21

By Reuters

Published: Sat 25 Sep 2021, 10:13 PM

Last updated: Sat 25 Sep 2021, 10:26 PM

Britain’s Prince Andrew has accepted service in the United States of a sexual assault lawsuit by a woman who said the Duke of York forced her to have sex with him at the London home of the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

According to a joint filing on Friday with the US District Court in Manhattan, the prince and his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, have agreed that service was effective as of September 21.

Andrew has until October 29 to formally respond to the lawsuit, and has not waived his defences against Giuffre’s claims, which he has denied. A previously scheduled October 13 court hearing has been cancelled.

The agreement appears for now to end a monthlong effort by Andrew’s legal team, including lawyers in Britain, to block Giuffre’s lawsuit at the outset rather than have the 61-year-old defend against it.

Giuffre, 38, accused Queen Elizabeth’s second son of forcing her to have sex around two decades ago, when she was underage, at the London home of Epstein’s longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

She also said Andrew abused her at around the same time at Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.

Andrew has not been charged with crimes.

His lawyers are seeking to review a 2009 settlement agreement from a lawsuit against Epstein in Florida, to determine whether it requires a dismissal of Giuffre’s August 9 lawsuit. Giuffre is seeking unspecified damages.

Epstein, a registered sex offender, also had a home in Florida. He killed himself in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Giuffre sued Andrew under a 2019 New York law that gave survivors of childhood sexual abuse a since-closed two-year window to sue their alleged abusers over conduct occurring many years or decades earlier.

Maxwell faces a scheduled November 29 trial in Manhattan on charges she helped recruit and groom underage girls for Epstein to abuse. She has pleaded not guilty.

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