Prince Andrew HAS officially recognised that he has been served with sex assault lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, new court papers confirm
The acknowledgment was confirmed in a joint agreement signed by a lawyer for the Duke of York, approved by a Manhattan federal judge and entered into the public court record today.
The court papers said Andrew had been challenging acceptance of the lawsuit until lawyers spoke by phone on September 21. An agreement was signed three days later, according to the order signed by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.
MailOnline had previously reported that Andrew’s legal team accepted that he had been correctly served with legal papers by his sex accuser. This has now been entered in the official public record.
In the lawsuit, Virginia Giuffre claims Andrew abused her on multiple occasions in 2001 when she was under 18. His lawyer has called the allegations ‘baseless.’
Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, had previously said he expected the prince’s US lawyer, Andrew B Brettler, to apply for a ‘reasonable’ extension to respond to the complaint – and indicated they would likely agree to it.
The prince must now file responses to the lawsuit’s claims by October 29.
A conference was scheduled for November 3.
Prince Andrew, pictured at Balmoral earlier this month, has officially recognised that he has been served with a lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre
Pictured: The Duke of York with Virginia Roberts, then 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell in London
Delivering a lawsuit to a defendant is usually a routine matter but can be more complicated when a defendant resides outside the United States.
A judge must be satisfied that a defendant has been properly notified of the allegations and has a reasonable period of time to respond to them.
Lawyers for Giuffre had told the judge that they’d delivered the lawsuit to Andrew in numerous ways, though never directly into his hands.
At one point, Britain’s high court accepted a request from Giuffre’s lawyers to formally contact Andrew about the lawsuit.
Los Angeles attorney Andrew Brettler, who signed the papers on Andrew’s behalf acknowledging the prince was aware of the lawsuit, had argued at a hearing this month that Giuffre’s claim was ‘baseless, nonviable and potentially unlawful.’
In late 2019, Andrew told the BBC ‘Newsnight’ program that he never had sex with Giuffre, saying, ‘It didn’t happen.’
Brettler has said that Andrew cannot be sued because an earlier lawsuit in the United States that was settled ‘absolves our client from any and all liability.’ That 2009 settlement document, however, remains sealed.
The court papers said Andrew had been challenging acceptance of the lawsuit until lawyers spoke by phone on September 21. An agreement was signed three days later, according to the order signed by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan
Ms Giuffre is suing the Queen’s son for allegedly sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions.
Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.
Epstein was found dead in his cell at a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019 while he awaited a sex trafficking trial.
The death was ruled to be suicide.
Ms Giuffre is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the sum could be in the millions of dollars.
Court documents show that lawyers for both sides spoke on September 21 and the time for the duke to respond was extended.
This latest point in the legal process is so a judge can be satisfied that proper notification of the allegations has been delivered to the defendant and they have enough time to respond.
In a previous legal hearing Mr Brettler said that Ms Giuffre had previously entered into a ‘settlement agreement’ with Epstein in 2009 that would nullify her case.
The 2009 settlement is currently sealed.