His legal team argued the Duke of York can’t be served with the lawsuit as Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies is not a “judicial, consular, or diplomatic officer”.
According to the outlet, citing an anonymous source, the royal now fears that the case could drag on for years and cost him millions of dollars.
“He’s not been his usual blasé self, acting like everything is in hand. The issue has suddenly become very pressing and there is a distinct tension in the air”, the source told the newspaper. The change of mood has resulted from the latest development in the case.
Giuffre’s legal team has filed a motion with the High Court in London, which ruled on Thursday that it will find ways to serve Prince Andrew with the lawsuit if both litigants fail to resolve the issue on their own. Andrew’s lawyers have challenged the court’s decision.
Now, US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan has said Virginia Giuffre and her lawyers can use alternative means of delivering the court papers to Prince Andrew, namely via the royal’s lawyer Andrew Brettler, who lives in Los Angeles, California. Kaplan said that “service is not intended to be a game of hide and seek behind palace walls”.
What are the Allegations Against Prince Andrew?
Virginia Giuffre is one of the alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein, a US financier, who was charged with running a sex trafficking network of minors in 2019. Epstein didn’t live to see the trial and reportedly hanged himself in prison on 10 August 2019, while awaiting trial. Giuffre claims that Epstein and his purported accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell, trafficked her to London at the age of 17 and forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew.
Ms Giuffre also claims that Prince Andrew had sex with her at least two more times without her consent – at Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan and on his private island in the Caribbean.
The Duke categorically denied the allegations in an interview with the BBC, arguing that he had never met Giuffre. When pressed about a photo posted online showing the Duke of York standing next to Giuffre and Epstein’s alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell, Prince Andrew claimed “nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored”.
Is Prince Andrew Immune From Prosecution?
The Duke of York’s lawyer described the allegations against his client as “baseless” and called the lawsuit “potentially unlawful”. Brettler also told a US federal judge that Prince Andrew may be potentially immune from Giuffre’s lawsuit due to a case Giuffre filed against Epstein in 2009
Back then, the case was settled for an undisclosed amount of money. It is not known whether Prince Andrew is mentioned in the plea deal as a co-conspirator. Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan said that Prince Andrew can request the unsealing of the 2009 settlement as part of his court battle with Virginia Giuffre. The next hearing in the case, which will be held in the US, is scheduled for 17 October.