Prince Andrew of Britain’s lawyers will on Tuesday ask a US judge to dismiss a lawsuit by a woman who accused him of forcing her to have sex two decades ago, two decades ago when she was 17. shown.
Andrew called the lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, now 38, unfounded. Giuffre also sued Andrew’s friend, the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, in 2009, accusing him of sexually assaulting her in 1998 when she was 15.
A civilian Settlement Agreement between Epstein and Giuffre was announced Monday in federal court in Manhattan, an agreement that could affect her lawsuit against the prince.
The following is a summary of the lawsuit and what it means for Andrew:
What are Giuffre’s claims against Andrew?
Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, sued Andrew in New York in 2021, claiming he sexually assaulted and beat her. Giuffre said Andrew forced her to have intercourse at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, a British social member and Epstein’s longtime collaborator, and at properties owned by Epstein.
Epstein died of suicide in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on a charge of sex abuse. Maxwell, 60, was found guilty on Dec. 29 of sex trafficking and other crimes.
How did Andrew react?
Andrew’s lawyers called the lawsuit “unfounded” and accused her of seeking a payday. They argued that Giuffre had waived her right to sue the prince in her 2009 settlement with Epstein.
Andrew, 61, told the BBC in November 2019 that he could not have had sex with Giuffre at Maxwell’s home because he had returned to his home after a children’s party that evening.
What is the status of the lawsuit?
The litigation is at an early stage. Any trial in the civil case is likely to begin between September and December 2022 if Andrew and Giuffre do not settle before then.
Who matters Giuffre’s settlement with Epstein?
The settlement agreement said “any other person or entity that could have been included as a potential defendant of all, and all, actions and actions of Virginia Roberts” has been released from liability.
David Boies, a lawyer for Giuffre, on Monday called the release of liability in the 2009 settlement “irrelevant” to the case against Andrew.
Can the lawsuit legally harm Andrew or his reputation?
If the case is heard and Giuffre wins, Andrew can be ordered to pay Giuffre damages. She asked for an unspecified amount.
The prince’s reputation had already taken a hit when Giuffre’s allegations first surfaced. Critics have said he failed to address key questions during his November 2019 interview with the BBC, and Andrew resigned from public duty days after the interview was broadcast.
Could the lawsuit lead to criminal danger for Andrew?
No. Andrew was not criminally charged, and no criminal charges can arise from Giuffre’s lawsuit, as it is a civil case.
Andrew has repeatedly rejected requests from U.S. federal prosecutors for an interview about their investigation into Epstein’s sex trade, former New York Southern District Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in June 2020.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment Monday. It was not clear if prosecutors still wanted to speak to Andrew.
Is Giuffre’s lawsuit related to Maxwell’s conviction?
No. Giuffre did not testify at Maxwell’s criminal trial, and her allegations did not form the basis of any of the six charges of sex abuse against her.
Does Andrew’s royal status have any effect on the case?
Diplomats are often entitled to a certain degree of legal immunity in the countries in which they are posted. Heads of state – such as Andrew’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II – are also entitled to a degree of immunity.
Andrew does not seem to fit into any category, said Craig Barker, a law professor at London South Bank University.
“There is nothing I can see in the law that indicates that he would have any right to immunity whatsoever, whether it is in civil or indeed in criminal matters,” Barker said.