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Prince Andrew Mounts Attack Against Woman Who Accused Him of Sexual Abuse

The lawyers for Andrew, 61, denied in a new court filing in New York City that their client, who is also known as the Duke of York, had ever sexually abused or assaulted the woman, Virginia Giuffre, who has been one of Epstein’s most prominent accusers.

October 30, 2021 / 05:00 PM IST
Representational image

Representational image

Lawyers for Prince Andrew, Duke of York, on October 29 issued a blistering attack on a woman who has accused him in a lawsuit of sexually abusing her when she was still a minor and he was a guest of Jeffrey Epstein.

The lawyers for Andrew, 61, denied in a new court filing in New York City that their client, who is also known as the Duke of York, had ever sexually abused or assaulted the woman, Virginia Giuffre, who has been one of Epstein’s most prominent accusers.

Andrew’s lawyers argued in the court papers that Giuffre’s lawsuit was part of an effort by her over more than a decade to profit from allegations she had made against Epstein and others. Andrew’s lawyers claimed that Giuffre had sold articles and photographs to the news media and entered into secret agreements to resolve her abuse claims.

“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,” Andrew’s lawyers wrote. “Most people could only dream of obtaining the sums of money that Giuffre has secured for herself over the years.”

The lawyers added that “accusing a member of the world’s best known royal family of serious misconduct has helped Giuffre create a media frenzy online and in the traditional press.”

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Andrew’s lawyers issued their attack on Giuffre as part of a brief asking the judge, Lewis A Kaplan, to dismiss her lawsuit, which was filed in August in the United States District Court.

In the lawsuit, Giuffre, 38, claimed that Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, sexually abused her when she was under 18 on Epstein’s private island, Little St. James, in the United States’ Virgin Islands, and at his mansion in Manhattan.

She also accused Andrew, along with Epstein and his long-time companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, of forcing her to have sexual intercourse with Andrew at Maxwell’s home in London.

Epstein, 66, was arrested in July 2019 on sex-trafficking charges. One month later he was found dead by hanging in his jail cell in Manhattan. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide.

Maxwell was arrested in July 2020, and has been detained on charges she helped Epstein recruit, groom and sexually abuse underage girls. An indictment also accused Maxwell of involvement in the sex trafficking of a 14-year-old girl, saying that she groomed the girl to engage in sexual acts with Epstein and later paid her.

Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

In their request to have the suit dismissed, Andrew’s lawyers also argued that Giuffre’s claims were barred under terms of a 2009 settlement release reached in a lawsuit she had filed against Epstein in Florida.

David Boies, a lawyer for Giuffre, said in a statement that Andrew’s motion to dismiss “fails to confront the serious allegations” in Giuffre’s suit.

Boies said that Andrew’s “attempted reliance on an irrelevant 13-year-old release, to which he is not a party, and which he did not even know about until recently, is just another in a series of attempts to avoid facing the merits of the serious charges against him.”

As the court battle over Giuffre’s lawsuit against Andrew escalated Friday, dueling legal papers were filed by federal prosecutors and lawyers for Maxwell in her case before a different judge, Alison J Nathan, in the same federal court in Manhattan. Maxwell’s trial is scheduled to be begin there on November 29.

The prosecutors asked that some of Maxwell’s accusers be allowed to testify using pseudonyms or first names, citing concerns about publicity, harassment and the risk of “significant embarrassment, anxiety and social stigma.” Maxwell’s lawyers argued in their motion that this would create unnecessary confusion and prejudice the jury against Maxwell.

Federal prosecutors also revealed that the four women described as victims in the indictment would testify at trial, in “explicit detail,” about sexual abuse that took place before they were 18 years old, and about how they were recruited by — and in turn recruited — other victims who were minors.

Maxwell’s lawyers also asked Nathan to allow them to present evidence and arguments about prior investigations into Epstein and how they were resolved, including an investigation by federal prosecutors in Florida that resulted in a 2007 non-prosecution agreement for Epstein and several of his associates.

But prosecutors, in a response filed Friday, asked Nathan to prevent the defense from scrutinizing the roots of the federal investigations in both New York and Florida, saying it would be an improper effort to cast doubt on the government’s motives and credibility.

“The defense would like to (inaccurately) argue that the New York investigation was opened in response to the non-prosecution agreement,” and that the government rushed to investigate Maxwell after Epstein’s 2019 death and led a “sloppy investigation” because of public pressure, prosecutors wrote in a response to the defense’s motion also filed Friday.

(Author: Benjamin Weiser and Rebecca Davis O’Brien)/(c.2021 The New York Times Company)



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New York Times
first published: Oct 30, 2021 05:00 pm
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