Prince Andrew's Legal Team Requests Keeping Evidence Secret in Giuffre Sex Abuse Case
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged "sex slaves", has accused the Duke of York of sexually abusing her when she was underage. The embattled British royal, however, has vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
Prince Andrew's attorneys have asked the judge to keep evidence secret as his legal battle with Virginia Roberts Giuffre over alleged sexual assault is ongoing, The Times reported.
According to the report, the duke's lawyer Andrew Brettler requested that US District Judge Lewis Kaplan keep Andrew's response to some of Giuffre's claims "sealed".
These claims have not been disclosed either, with Prince Andrew only being accused of forcibly having sex with then-17-year-old Giuffre at the London estate of late American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The secrecy around the case is notable, as reports emerged earlier in the week suggesting that even Queen Elizabeth II (who happens to be paying Andrew's hefty legal fees in the case) is being left "in the dark" about her son's defence strategy. Prince Charles and Prince William are also reportedly unaware of the details of Andrew's legal response, as the duke has reportedly had "little or no discussion" about it with senior British royals.
Prince Andrew is reportedly fully engaged in the development of his secretive legal strategy, even seeking to cancel his American team's Christmas so that the attorneys "leave no stone unturned" while looking for a way to battle Giuffre's accusations.
According to the Tuesday report, however, the duke appears to have taken a break, enjoying a horse ride at Windsor with a couple of friends and smiling.
The embattled royal has actively denied any wrongdoing, firing back at Giuffre with accusations of her seeking "another payday" in what he sees as her effort to make money off her association with Epstein.
Andrew's lawyers are set to deliver their legal response in the case to Judge Kaplan on 4 January 2022. They have asked the judge to dismiss the sexual assault case, arguing that the New York law under which Giuffre has sued is unconstitutional.
Meanwhile, another Epstein-associated legal drama is unfolding in New York, with his alleged "madame", Ghislaine Maxwell, fending off accusations of procuring underage girls for the late businessman. In a bid to prove her innocence and challenge the six sex trafficking counts she faces, Maxwell's legal team is reportedly set to call 35 witnesses.
Her case is scheduled to last several weeks. If found guilty, Maxwell could face up to 80 years behind bars.