News has swept the globe that Prince Andrew will face a sex assault lawsuit in the US. The Duke of York will go on trial after the US judge dismissed a motion by Prince Andrew’s legal team to have Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s lawsuit thrown out.
The Daily Mail UK described the case as a “box office” trial. Giuffre claims that she was repeatedly forced to have sex with the Prince when she was a teenager (in 2001).
In court documents, Ms Giuffre said she was the victim of sex trafficking and abuse by late billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. Part of her alleged abuse involved being lent out to other powerful men, including the Prince. There is a picture of the Prince and Giuffre together when she was 17-years-old. The prince has consistently denied the claims.
The Royal believes that he should not face legal action with regards to allegations linked to the deceased paedophile because of an agreement Giuffre, 38, had made with him back in 2009.
The agreement, disclosed by a New York court, revealed that Epstein paid her $500,000 to end her claim against him, reports the BBC.
The terms of the agreement (and payout) stated that Ms Giuffre couldn’t sue anyone connected to Epstein who could be described as a ‘potential defendant’. It’s this clause that Prince Andrew and his lawyer, Andrew Brettler, stated protects him from any legal case being launched.
However, Judge Lewis Kaplan hopes the case will be held between September and December. Today, he dismissed an application (in a 46-page decision) from the Duke of York’s lawyers to have the case shut down —allowing Ms Giuffre to pursue her case.
It is alleged that the Prince has been forced to sell off a £17million Swiss ski chalet that he owns with his ex-wife Sarah, the Duchess of York, to cover his legal bills after his mother the Queen reportedly refused to pay.
The Duke of York faces a “reputation-shredding” court case unless he tries to pay off Ms Giuffre with at least $5million.
Should he decide not to settle, or if she rejects any offers, Prince Andrew faces being interviewed by her lawyers in a videotaped deposition in London that could be played in court.
However, he cannot be forced to give evidence due to it being a civil suit in a different legal jurisdiction. He could also ignore the court and let it make a decision in his absence. He will not be able to rely on diplomatic immunity to avoid the case because it only applies to the Queen and her immediate household.
Judge Kaplan has stated that it was not his job to determine the “truth or falsity” of Ms Giuffre’s complaint.
The Duke of York cannot return to royal duties because his reputation is “damaged beyond repair”, reports Mail Online.
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