A lawyer for Prince Andrew, who was sued final month by a lady accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was a minor, stated in a Manhattan courtroom on Monday that the lawsuit was seemingly to be invalid underneath the phrases of an earlier confidential settlement — one which the prince’s attorneys have stated the lady reached with Jeffrey Epstein.
The listening to, coming within the carefully watched lawsuit introduced by Virginia Giuffre, one in every of Mr. Epstein’s most distinguished accusers, was the primary public response from Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, and means that his authorized group will search to beat again any try to permit the swimsuit to proceed. Prince Andrew’s lawyer additionally argued on Monday that his shopper had not been correctly served with authorized papers in Britain.
The lawyer, Andrew B. Brettler, stated Ms. Giuffre’s lawsuit was “baseless, nonviable and potentially unlawful.”
“We have significant concerns about the propriety of this lawsuit,” Mr. Brettler stated at a listening to in Federal District Court in Manhattan.
Ms. Giuffre, 38, claimed in her lawsuit that Prince Andrew, 61, the second son of Queen Elizabeth, sexually abused her when she was underneath 18 at Mr. Epstein’s mansion in New York and on Mr. Epstein’s personal island, Little St. James, within the U.S. Virgin Islands.
She additionally stated within the swimsuit that Prince Andrew, together with Mr. Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, compelled her to have sexual activity with Prince Andrew at Ms. Maxwell’s house in London.
Prince Andrew, who has denied Ms. Giuffre’s allegations, has not been charged with any crimes, however he has lengthy loomed over the investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan of Mr. Epstein and Ms. Maxwell.
Mr. Epstein, 66, was arrested in July 2019 on sex-trafficking fees, and a month later, he was discovered useless by hanging in his cell in a Manhattan jail; the dying was dominated a suicide. An indictment charged that Mr. Epstein had recruited dozens of underage women to interact in intercourse acts with him at his Manhattan mansion and his property in Palm Beach, after which he paid them tons of of dollars in money.
Ms. Maxwell, who was arrested in July 2020, faces trial in November on fees that she helped Mr. Epstein recruit, groom and in the end sexually abuse underage women. In one case, an indictment charged, she was concerned in intercourse trafficking a 14-year-old lady, grooming her to interact in sexual acts with Mr. Epstein and later paying her. Ms. Maxwell has pleaded not responsible to the costs.
Ms. Giuffre has stated in earlier court docket filings that Mr. Epstein had supplied her a number of instances to Prince Andrew for intercourse when she was a young person.
Ms. Giuffre’s lawsuit towards Prince Andrew features a of him together with his arm round her waist, with Ms. Maxwell smiling within the background. Ms. Giuffre’s lawsuit stated the photograph was taken at Ms. Maxwell's house earlier than Prince Andrew sexually abused her.
Other attorneys for Prince Andrew indicated final week in a letter to Ms. Giuffre’s attorneys that the prince would problem the lawsuit on the grounds that Ms. Giuffre’s attorneys had not correctly served him with the grievance, a routine step giving a defendant formal discover that he has been sued.
“We are not instructed to appear in the claim brought by Ms. Giuffre in the Southern District of New York and we are not instructed to accept service of that claim on behalf of the Duke,” the attorneys, with the agency Blackfords, wrote.
The attorneys additionally wrote that Ms. Giuffre’s declare towards Prince Andrew could also be invalid underneath phrases of a 2009 settlement reached in a lawsuit towards Mr. Epstein in Florida.
Ms. Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, had hooked up a replica of the letter from the prince’s attorneys to a court docket submitting on Friday. In it, Mr. Boies stated the attorneys’ suggestion that the sooner settlement “somehow releases Prince Andrew from the claims” made by Ms. Giuffre was “erroneous,” noting that Prince Andrew had not been a celebration to the sooner case.
The decide, Lewis A. Kaplan, stated in court docket on Monday that he would hear arguments on the problem of whether or not the swimsuit had been correctly served. But he appeared to query the utility of the hassle.
“I can see a lot of legal fees being spent and time being expended and delay, which ultimately may not be terribly productive for anyone,” the decide stated.
Susan C. Beachy contributed analysis.