Prince Andrew‘s effort to immediately block the progression of a lawsuit by a woman who says he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 — on the grounds that she no longer lives in the U.S. — was rejected by a federal judge as oral arguments were set to proceed Monday on the prince’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, in a written order Friday, told the prince’s lawyers they must turn over documents on the schedule that has been set in the lawsuit brought in August by Virginia Giuffre

Giuffre says she was abused by the prince on multiple occasions in 2001 while she was being sexually abused by financier Jeffrey Epstein

The prince’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, has called the lawsuit ‘baseless.’ 

Prince Andrew's effort to immediately block the progression of a lawsuit by a woman who says he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 — on the grounds that she no longer lives in the U.S. — was rejected by a federal judge. Prince Andrew was seen for the first time on Friday since his friend Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of child sex trafficking

Prince Andrew's effort to immediately block the progression of a lawsuit by a woman who says he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 — on the grounds that she no longer lives in the U.S. — was rejected by a federal judge. Prince Andrew was seen for the first time on Friday since his friend Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of child sex trafficking

Prince Andrew’s effort to immediately block the progression of a lawsuit by a woman who says he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 — on the grounds that she no longer lives in the U.S. — was rejected by a federal judge. Prince Andrew was seen for the first time on Friday since his friend Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of child sex trafficking

The order was filed three days before the scheduled public release Monday of a 2009 settlement agreement between Epstein and Giuffre. Lawyers for Andrew say that the agreement protects the prince from claims like those brought by Giuffre and will be sufficient grounds for the lawsuit’s dismissal. 

The prince’s lawyers had claimed that the evidence was so strong that Giuffre does not reside in the United States that it was pointless to exchange evidence until that question is resolved because it could result in the lawsuit’s dismissal.

They argued that Giuffre has lived in Australia all but two of the past 19 years, has an Australian driver’s license and lives in a $1.9 million home in Perth, Western Australia, where she has been raising three children with her husband, who is Australian.

In a statement, Giuffre attorney Sigrid McCawley called the request to halt the case ‘just another in a series of tired attempts by Prince Andrew to duck and dodge the legal merits of the case Virginia Giuffre has brought against him. All parties in litigation are subject to discovery and Prince Andrew is no exception.’

Virginia Giuffre - the woman who claims she was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew when she was 17 - is pictured with her lawyer, David Boies

Virginia Giuffre - the woman who claims she was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew when she was 17 - is pictured with her lawyer, David Boies

Virginia Giuffre – the woman who claims she was forced to sleep with Prince Andrew when she was 17 – is pictured with her lawyer, David Boies 

Andrew vehemently denies her assertions and says he cannot recall meeting her, despite the picture of them together at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell - the British socialite convicted of multiple counts of child sex trafficking for her billionaire pedophile boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein - in March 2001

Andrew vehemently denies her assertions and says he cannot recall meeting her, despite the picture of them together at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell - the British socialite convicted of multiple counts of child sex trafficking for her billionaire pedophile boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein - in March 2001

Andrew vehemently denies her assertions and says he cannot recall meeting her, despite the picture of them together at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell – the British socialite convicted of multiple counts of child sex trafficking for her billionaire pedophile boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein – in March 2001

Kaplan, in a one-page order, noted that the prince’s lawyers have requested that ‘extensive’ materials be turned over by Giuffre by January 14, including documents related to where she has lived. And he said the prince’s attorneys have not yet formally raised the defense that the lawsuit cannot proceed on the grounds that Giuffre has been living in Australia rather than Colorado, where her lawyers say she is a resident.

In the cover page of a lawsuit in September 2015, Giuffre listed her address as Penrose, Colorado. In the cover letter of an April 2019 lawsuit, she listed her address as Palm Cove, Australia, and marked a box as ‘citizen or subject of a foreign country.’ But in her lawsuit against the prince, she listed her address as Ocean Reef, Western Australia, but checked a box that said ‘citizen of another state.’

Kaplan, in a one-page order, noted that the prince's lawyers have requested that 'extensive' materials be turned over by Giuffre by January 14, including documents related to where she has lived

Kaplan, in a one-page order, noted that the prince's lawyers have requested that 'extensive' materials be turned over by Giuffre by January 14, including documents related to where she has lived

Kaplan, in a one-page order, noted that the prince’s lawyers have requested that ‘extensive’ materials be turned over by Giuffre by January 14, including documents related to where she has lived

Kaplan’s order expressed no opinion on the merits of the prince’s claims that Giuffre should be disqualified from suing because she lives in Australia. 

Oral arguments via a video teleconference on the prince’s request to dismiss the case are scheduled for Monday morning.

In October, the prince’s lawyers attacked the lawsuit on multiple grounds, saying Giuffre had made false claims against Andrew because he ‘never sexually abused or assaulted’ her.

‘Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him. Epstein’s abuse of Giuffre does not justify her public campaign against Prince Andrew,’ the written arguments said.

Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019 as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.

His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was convicted Wednesday of charges including sex trafficking and conspiracy after a month-long trial.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they choose to come forward publicly, as Giuffre has. 

Q&A 

What is Andrew accused of?

The formal allegations are battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Bringing the New York case under her married name of Giuffre, Virginia Roberts alleges she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 and a ‘sex slave’ to his friend, paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Unlike the Ghislaine Maxwell trial in Manhattan this is a civil case. Miss Roberts is seeking damages, probably totalling millions of pounds. Andrew cannot be jailed.

Where are we at?

The case was filed in August and is still at the early stages. On Tuesday, the judge will rule on a new Andrew application to dismiss it. If it continues there will be the taking of depositions – formal statement given under oath.

Who could be deposed?

Miss Roberts’ lawyer David Boies has said he will seek to depose the duke and possibly his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, among others. Andrew’s side will depose his accuser and her associates, and perhaps her lawyers.

And then?

Judge Lewis Kaplan has set a tentative trial date for September, with the case to be decided by a jury made up of a dozen members of the public.

Will Andrew testify?

He can refuse to give a deposition but it could result in a default judgment against him. If he attends the trial, he can decline to give evidence in person, or ‘take the fifth’, refusing to answer questions in order to avoid incriminating himself.

What evidence will be heard?

Miss Roberts will tell her account and bring witnesses she says back up her claims. It is thought she will use flight logs from Epstein’s private jets showing her being flown to locations she claims to have had sex with the duke. Evidence from Maxwell’s trial could also play a part, including testimony from the victim known only as Carolyn, who says she was pulled into Epstein’s sphere by Roberts herself.

What about the FBI wanting to speak to Andrew?

That is separate from this case. The FBI have been looking to speak to Andrew as a possible witness for at least the last two years as they continue to investigate Epstein’s global sex ring. A request filed with the Home Office under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty is currently gathering dust and has not been actioned.

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