Prince Andrew seeks dismissal of accuser

Prince Andrew’s lawyers in the US have asked a judge to dismiss his accuser Virginia Giuffre’s civil lawsuit.

 

Ms Giuffre has accused the Duke of York of sexually abusing her when she was 17, more than 20 years ago.

 

In court filings, the duke said he “unequivocally denies” sexually abusing or assaulting her.

 

His request was filed on Friday with the US District Court in Manhattan.

 

In court documents seen by Sky News, Prince Andrew states the lawsuit should be dismissed because Ms Giuffre failed to “state a claim warranting relief” and has asked the court to hold oral arguments on his application.

 

The document, signed by lawyer Andrew Brettler, said: “Accusing a member of the world’s best known royal family of serious misconduct has helped Giuffre create a media frenzy online and in the traditional press.

 

“It is unfortunate, but undeniable, that sensationalism and innuendo have prevailed over the truth.

 

“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 documents also accused Ms Giuffre of profiting from her “allegations against Epstein and others by selling stories and photographs to the press and entering secret agreements to resolve her claims”.

 

“Most people could only dream of obtaining the sums of money that Giuffre has secured for herself over the years,” the documents said.

 

“This presents a compelling motive for Giuffre to continue filing frivolous lawsuits against individuals such as Prince Andrew, whose sullied reputation is only the latest collateral damage of the Epstein scandal.”

 

Ms Giuffre, 38, sued the duke in August, accusing him of forcing her to have sex when she was underage at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and former girlfriend of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

 

The lawsuit also alleges that Prince Andrew abused Ms Giuffre at Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan and one of Epstein’s private islands in the Virgin Islands.

 

On Wednesday, Mr Brettler asked a judge to keep sealed a 2009 legal agreement that he says can protect the prince against claims.

 

The request was made in court papers in Manhattan federal court, where US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan is presiding over the dispute.

 

On Monday, Judge Kaplan ruled Prince Andrew must be questioned under oath by Ms Giuffre’s lawyers in her civil sexual assault case by mid-July next year.

 

The duke has vehemently denied the claims against him, telling the BBC in late 2019 he never had sex with Ms Giuffre, saying, “It never happened”.

 

Prince Andrew seeks dismissal of accuser

 

Ghislaine Maxwell is currently awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking, which she denies.