Prince Andrew seeks dismissal of sexual abuse lawsuit

The British prince asks a US judge to dismiss Virginia Giuffre’s civil lawsuit

By Reuters

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Prince Andrew. — AP
Prince Andrew. — AP

Published: Sat 30 Oct 2021, 2:43 AM

Britain’s Prince Andrew on Friday asked a US judge to dismiss Virginia Giuffre’s civil lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was 17, more than two decades ago.

In a filing with the US District Court in Manhattan, the Duke of York said the case should be dismissed because Giuffre failed to state a claim warranting relief.

He also said that if dismissal were not granted, Giuffre should provide a “more definitive statement” of her allegations.

Lawyers for Giuffre did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Giuffre, 38, who is one of Epstein’s most prominent accusers, sued Andrew for unspecified damages in August.

She accused him of forcing her to have sex when she was underage at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, a longtime associate of the late financier and registered sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Giuffre also accused Andrew of abusing her at Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan, and on one of Epstein’s private islands in the US Virgin Islands.

Andrew, 61, a former friend of Epstein, has not been charged with crimes, and has “categorically” denied Giuffre’s claims.

The prince, who is also Queen Elizabeth’s second son, gave up many royal duties and lost support from charities and organisations after a disastrous November 2019 BBC interview in which he did not appear sympathetic toward Epstein’s victims.

Andrew’s filings included a 2009 settlement agreement between Giuffre and Epstein, which was filed under seal.

At a hearing last month, the prince’s lawyer Andrew Brettler told US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who oversees Giuffre’s case, that he believed the settlement agreement “absolves our client from any and all liability”.

David Boies, one of Giuffre’s lawyers, has said he considered the agreement “irrelevant” to Giuffre’s case.

The next hearing is scheduled for November 3.

Giuffre was sued separately for $20 million on Thursday for allegedly defaming on Twitter an artist who has said she brought women to Epstein but denied being a recruiter.

The artist, Rina Oh Amen, sued over tweets including that she “procured & partook in the abuse of minors.” Amen called the tweets “maliciously false,” and said Epstein also abused her.

Epstein killed himself at age 66 in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

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