Prince Andrew’s Lawyers Claim Royal’s Accuser Was of Age When Purported Intercourse Occurred
In addition, the duke’s legal team stressed that accusers must establish a lack of consent by "implied threat", but there are no third parties that can testify to the alleged abuse.
"Here, the only witnesses to the purported implied threats under which Giuffre allegedly engaged in unconsented sex acts with Prince Andrew are [Jeffrey] Epstein (deceased), [Ghislaine] Maxwell (incarcerated), Prince Andrew (the accused) and Giuffre herself", the lawyers wrote.
Connection to Jeffrey Epstein and Court Settlement
The mother of three has alleged that Epstein and Maxwell trafficked her to London when she was a minor and forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew, who slept two more times with Virginia without her consent.
Prince Andrew has categorically dismissed the accusations, saying he has an alibi for the day the purported sexual intercourse occurred in London and maintained he had never met Giuffre.
However, there is at least one photo showing the royal with the girl, and a woman has claimed to have seen the duke dancing with Giuffre at a night club. One of Jeffrey Epstein’s former employees also claims to have seen the two together.
The royal’s legal team has attempted to throw out the lawsuit. On Tuesday, they again mentioned the 2009 settlement between Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein as the reason the case should be dismissed.
Back then, Virginia Giuffre sued Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell for sex trafficking. The case was settled for an undisclosed amount of money. Prince Andrew's lawyers have argued that the settlement protects the royal "from any and all liability" as it apparently made Epstein, his co-conspirators, and friends immune to further lawsuits.
Mrs Guiffre's legal team has insisted that the settlement is "irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew".
"[The court has questioned ] whether any proper purpose would be served by the continued secrecy of the document save, perhaps, the dollar amount the settlement provided it for", Ms Preska said.
Jeffrey Epstein was found hanged in his prison cell on 10 August 2019, a month after his arrest on charges of running a sex trafficking network of minors. His alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell is now on trial in New York and faces eight charges, including enticing a minor as young as 14 to engage in illegal sex acts. If found guilty, Maxwell, who is 59, may face up to 80 years in prison. She claims she is innocent.