Prince Andrew seeks jury trial and denies Virginia Giuffre's sexual abuse claims

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, has demanded a trial by jury in the civil case brought against him by Virginia Giuffre, who accuses him of sexual assault.

Prince Andrew during an interview at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Windsor, Sunday 11 April, 2021.

Britain's Prince Andrew, The Duke of York. Source: AAP

This article contains reference to sexual assault. 

Britain's Prince Andrew has asked for a US jury trial as he again denied Virginia Giuffre's accusations that he sexually abused her more than two decades ago when she was 17.

​Ms Giuffre, 38, sued the Duke of York last August, alleging he battered her while the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was trafficking her.

​In a filing with the US District Court in Manhattan, Prince Andrew, 61, admitted to meeting Epstein in or around 1999, but denied Ms Giuffre's claim that he "committed sexual assault and battery" upon her.

David Boies, a lawyer for Ms Giuffre, said in a statement that Prince Andrew was trying to "blame the victim".

​"We look forward to confronting Prince Andrew with his denials and attempts to blame Ms Giuffre for her own abuse," Mr Boies said.

Prince Andrew's ties to Epstein, who killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges, have undermined his reputation with the public and standing in Britain's Royal Family.

​Earlier this month, the family removed Prince Andrew's military links and military patronages, and said the second son of Queen Elizabeth would no longer be known as "His Royal Highness".

Prince Andrew's filing was an "answer," a common document in US litigation in which defendants deny or say they lack enough information to comment on plaintiffs' substantive accusations.

The prince's lawyers had previously called Ms Giuffre's lawsuit "baseless" and accused her of seeking another payday.

Ms Giuffre received $US500,000 ($A698,000) in a 2009 civil settlement with Epstein.

​US District Judge Lewis Kaplan has said a trial could begin between September and December 2022.

​If Ms Giuffre won at trial, Prince Andrew could owe her damages. She has asked for an unspecified amount.

​Prince Andrew has not been criminally charged, and no criminal charges can be brought in Ms Giuffre's civil lawsuit.

​Judge Kaplan this month denied Prince Andrew's earlier request to dismiss Ms Giuffre's lawsuit, which the prince said he was shielded from under the 2009 Epstein settlement.

​Prince Andrew renewed that argument in Wednesday's filing, and also said Ms Giuffre lacks legal standing to sue because she lives in Australia.

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit . In an emergency, call 000.

3 min read
Published 27 January 2022 at 10:04am
Source: Reuters,SBS