One of Prince Andrew’s requests to dismiss a case filed by an American woman alleging that the prince sexually abused her when she was 17 was denied by a federal court as oral arguments were about to begin on Monday.
In a written ruling on Friday, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan informed the prince’s attorneys that they must hand over records in accordance with the timeframe laid forth in the complaint submitted by Virginia Giuffre in August. While Jeffrey Epstein was sexually abusing Giuffre in 2001, the Prince Andrew allegedly molested her many times. It’s been branded “baseless” by Prince Andrew’s counsel, Andrew Brettler.
Epstein and Giuffre reached a settlement in 2009, which was slated to be made public on Monday. The order was submitted three days before that date. Lawyers for Prince Andrew contend that the agreement shields the prince against accusations such as Giuffre and will be adequate grounds for the dismissal of the case.
According to the prince’s attorneys, there was so much evidence proving that Giuffre did not live in the United States that exchanging evidence was futile until that issue was settled, which may lead to the case being dismissed.
For the last 19 years, all but two of Giuffre’s time has been spent in Australia. She has an Australian driver’s license and lives with her husband, an Australian, in a $1.9 million property in Perth, Western Australia.
Giuffre attorney Sigrid McCawley said in a statement, “just another in a series of tired attempts by Prince Andrew to duck and dodge the legal merits of the case Virginia Giuffre has brought against him. All parties in litigation are subject to discovery and Prince Andrew is no exception.”
By the 14th of January, Kaplan instructed Giuffre to provide “extensive” evidence to the prince’s attorneys, including records of where she has resided throughout the last five years. And he noted that the prince’s lawyers have not yet officially presented the position that the case cannot continue because Giuffre has been residing in Australia not in Colorado, where the lawyers argue she is a resident.
A lawsuit filed in September 2015 showed Giuffre’s residence as Penrose, Colorado on the front page. It was mentioned in the cover letter of a 2019 lawsuit as “citizen or subject of a foreign country” when she named Palm Cove, Australia, as her residence. Nonetheless, in her lawsuit against Andrew, she identified her residence as Ocean Reef, Western Australia as Ocean Reef, but ticked a box that indicated “citizen of another state.”
On the prince’s assertion that Giuffre should not sue since she resides in Australia, Kaplan’s ruling offered no comment.
The prince’s plea to dismiss the lawsuit will be the subject of oral arguments on Monday morning via video teleconference.
In October, the prince’s attorneys said that Giuffre had brought false allegations against Andrew since he “never sexually abused or assaulted her”.
The written reasons said “Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him. Epstein’s abuse of Giuffre does not justify her public campaign against Prince Andrew.”
As he awaited trial on sex trafficking allegations, Epstein took his own life in a federal prison in Manhattan in August 2019.
After a month-long trial, Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was found guilty on crimes including sex trafficking and conspiracy.
Individuals who claim to have been sexually assaulted are seldom identified by the Associated Press unless they choose to come out publicly as Giuffre did.