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PRINCE Andrew claims his rape accuser recruited girls for paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and “suffers from false memories”.
The Duke of York – who has now lost his royal and military titles – is fighting a sex abuse case filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre as a “private citizen”.
She alleges she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times when she was 17 – claims the 61-year-old has always strongly denied.
But after a judge throw out Andrew’s bid to have the civil case dismissed, his lawyers have accused Ms Giuffre of helping recruit underage girls for disgraced financier Epstein, documents lodged with the New York court show.
Andrew alleges Ms Giuffre’s claims are “an effort to deflect from her own participation in Epstein’s sex-trafficking scheme, including by recruiting young women (including at least one 14-year-old girl) to become sexual partners for Epstein”.
And his lawyers want to question Ms Giuffre’s husband and psychologist as witnesses part of his defence.
They have requested to talk to Dr Judith Lightfoot over Ms Giuffre’s claims to have suffered “severe emotional distress and psychological harm” as a result of her alleged ordeal.
Court documents show his lawyers also want to examine Dr Lightfoot’s medical notes from her sessions with Ms Giuffre, now 38.
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His legal team state that Andrew “contends that (Ms Giuffre) may suffer from false memories, as evidenced by the fact that her claims regarding her time with Epstein and the circumstances under which (Andrew) allegedly assaulted her have repeatedly changed over the years”.
The duke’s lawyers also want to question her husband Robert Giuffre under oath about her “alleged childhood trauma and abuse” and any communication they have had about this civil case she has brought against him.
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It comes after the Queen made the decision to strip Andrew of his HRH title on Wednesday after a meeting with Charles and the Duke of Cambridge.
The bombshell decision was made after New York judge Lewis Kaplan ruled Andrew must face a civil trial on allegations he sexually abused Ms Giuffre.
Andrew will now have to face his trial as an “ordinary citizen.”
Her Majesty’s third child is also barred from using ‘His Royal Highness’ in any official capacity, and his military titles were revoked in the sensational decision.
Prince William was reportedly a key figure in the judgement to remove Andrew’s titles – and helped his grandmother realise his position was “grave”.
Both he and Charles were said to be in complete agreement that Andrew must go – and were “completely furious” after he “crossed a red line”, The Sun exclusively reported.
Prince Andrew, who looked ashen-faced as he was driven in to see his mother, is understood to have been stunned by the move.
Insiders said the decision to reduce the royal — often called her “favourite son” — to a “private citizen” was one of the hardest in the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.
It follows talks within the family about the growing problem of the “Andrew issue”.
Andrew is seeking an out-of-court settlement for Ms Giuffre. It could be up to £10million — the amount he will get from selling his chalet in Verbier, Switzerland.
But in a bombshell statement, Buckingham Palace confirmed he will now have to go it alone.
The Palace said: “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
Virginia claims she was enticed by the Duke of York’s pal Maxwell and lured into paedo Epstein’s sick sexual pyramid scheme.
She alleges she was forced to have sex with Andrew on three occasions – in London, New York and on Epstein’s island Little St James.
Her legal team argue she was a “frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her” when she was allegedly abused by Andrew, saying “no person, whether President or Prince, is above the law”.
Andrew is named as the only defendant in the suit, brought under New York state’s Child Victims Act, but Epstein and Maxwell are mentioned frequently throughout.
She is seeking unknown amounts of compensation and punitive damages over the allegations.
But Andrew has always vehemently denied all allegations.