Prince Andrew Demands Trial By Jury in Sex Abuse Case, Denies Epstein 'Trafficked Girls to Him'
05:03 GMT 27.01.2022 (Updated: 05:22 GMT 27.01.2022)
© AP Photo / Steve ParsonsBritain's Prince Andrew attends the Sunday service at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor, following the announcement of Prince Philip, in England, Sunday, April 11, 2021.
© AP Photo / Steve Parsons
Virginia Giuffre claims she was trafficked out by the late Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew on three occasions when she was still a minor by US laws. Last August she filed a civil lawsuit against the royal, who has denied any wrongdoing, citing alleged battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Prince Andrew has demanded a jury trial in Virginia Giuffre’s sexual abuse civil lawsuit against him, according to court papers filed on Wednesday by his lawyers as part of ongoing legal proceedings in Manhattan federal court.
“Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint,” stated the 11-page document that offered the Duke of York’s “answer and affirmative defenses” to Giuffre’s civil complaint.
© AP Photo / Bebeto MatthewsIn this Aug. 27, 2019, photo, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, holds a news conference outside a Manhattan court where sexual assault claimants invited by a judge addressed a hearing following Epstein's jailhouse death in New York
In this Aug. 27, 2019, photo, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says she was trafficked by sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, holds a news conference outside a Manhattan court where sexual assault claimants invited by a judge addressed a hearing following Epstein's jailhouse death in New York
© AP Photo / Bebeto Matthews
In August 2021, Virginia Giuffre (nee Roberts), 38, filed a civil case in New York under the state's Child Victims Act alleging that she was trafficked out by the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and his "madam" Ghislaine Maxwell to engage in sexual relations with Prince Andrew when she was 17, and a minor by US law, on three occasions. The abuse ostensibly happened in London, New York, and the US Virgin Islands.
The royal, who was forced to step down from public duties "for the foreseeable future" in November 2019 due to his connections to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, "admits that he met Epstein in or around 1999".
However, in Wednesday’s legal filings, he formally denied that the tycoon “trafficked girls to him” for sexual abuse.
Attorneys stated in the response paperwork that the Duke of York “lacks sufficient information to admit or deny” Giuffre’s allegations that Epstein was “widely renowned as a billionaire who used his vast connections to powerful individuals, and seemingly unlimited wealth and resources, to create a web of transcontinental sex trafficking that served himself, his coconspirators, and some of the most powerful people in the world”.
23 January 2022, 07:04 GMT
According to the royal’s defence, he also lacked “sufficient information to admit or deny” Giuffre’s insistence that Ghislaine Maxwell, convicted last December for grooming teenagers for the late pedophile, was “the highest-ranking recruiter in Epstein’s sex-trafficking enterprise”.
The former girlfriend and “pimp” of the convicted pedophile is facing sentencing on 28 June, with the prospect of spending up to 60 years in a US jail.
She is, however, seeking a retrial after one jury member revealed they had been sexually abused.
Lines of Defence
In the first at-length response to Virginia Giuffre’s civil claim, filed on Wednesday, the attorneys submitted a number of reasons why they believe the case should be thrown out.
These included arguing that the case should be dismissed because Giuffre is a permanent resident of Australia, because too much time has passed after the alleged misconduct, and because of "her own wrongful conduct" - an allegation that the woman had acted unethically related to the accusations.
The new court documents, which present the Queen's second son as "Prince Andrew, Duke of York aka Andrew Albert Christian Edward, in his personal capacity", also attack Clause 38 of Giuffre's lawsuit, in which she suggests that a photograph of her and Prince Andrew, along with Ghislaine Maxwell, is proof of their acquaintance.
© Photo : Florida Southern District CourtPrince Andrew, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell. This photo was included in an affidavit in which Giuffre alleged that she was directed to have sex with Andrew
Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell. This photo was included in an affidavit in which Giuffre alleged that she was directed to have sex with Andrew
© Photo : Florida Southern District Court
Prince Andrew's lawyers stated that the royal “lacks sufficient information to admit or deny the allegations contained in paragraph thirty-eight of the Complaint."
The defence reiterated their claim that Giuffre’s 2009 settlement with Epstein shielded the royal from litigation.
Earlier this month, Prince Andrew’s team failed to get the case dismissed using the settlement deal whereby Giuffre had agreed to "release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge" Epstein and "any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant".
Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled on 12 January that the case could proceed.
Virginia Giuffre's lawyer responded to Wednesday’s court filings by saying they were looking forward to "confronting" the Duke of York about his "denials".
"Prince Andrew's Answer continues his approach of denying any knowledge or information concerning the claims against him, and purporting to blame the victim of the abuse for somehow bringing it on herself. We look forward to confronting Prince Andrew with his denials and attempts to blame Ms Giuffre for her own abuse at his deposition and at trial," stated David Boies.