Prince Andrew: US judge seeks testimony from duke's former assistant in sex abuse case

31 January 2022, 22:50

Prince Andrew denies the allegations made by Virginia Giuffre.
Prince Andrew denies the allegations made by Virginia Giuffre. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

A US judge has asked for Prince Andrew's former assistant to give evidence as part of the civil sex assault case brought by the duke's accuser Virginia Giuffre.

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The UK High Court has been asked to help obtain testimony from Andrew's former assistant, Robert Olney, as well as a woman who claims to have seen Andrew in the Tramp nightclub in London. 

Court documents reveal that Judge Lewis A Kaplan has written letters to both the Senior Master of the Queen's Bench Division and the Australian Attorney General to request their assistance in acquiring evidence.

Following the request, Robert Olney could be quizzed on topics such as the duke's communications with Maxwell, Epstein and Ms Giuffre, and his travel to Epstein's homes.

In a separate letter to the High Court, Judge Kaplan also requested testimony from a woman who claims to have seen Andrew in Tramp nightclub.

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The documents assert that Shukri Walker's evidence should include questions about the presence of the duke and Ms Giuffre at Tramp nightclub in March 2001 and any interactions the pair had.

Ms Giuffre is suing the prince for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

Andrew has strenuously denied all allegations.

Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew, and was pictured with the royal and his friend Ghislaine Maxwell during the period the alleged intercourse took place.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted in the US last month of helping to entice vulnerable teenagers to the properties of Epstein, her former boyfriend, for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

Her friendship with Andrew has seen renewed scrutiny of Ms Giuffre's civil claim for damages against him.

Ms Giuffre alleged in the past that she had sex with Andrew in London and New York when she was aged 17 - a minor under US law - and again aged 18 on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein.

In letters to the Australian Attorney General, Judge Kaplan has also requested assistance in obtaining testimony from Ms Giuffre's husband Robert and her psychologist Dr Judith Lightfoot.

The judge asked for Mr Giuffre's testimony to include how he met Ms Giuffre, his discussions with her about Andrew, her alleged childhood trauma and abuse, and her relationship with Epstein and Maxwell.

The letter requests Mr Giuffre's testimony also include all claims Ms Giuffre has made against the duke, her alleged emotional and psychological harm and damages, her role in trafficking and recruiting young girls for Epstein and the Giuffre household's finances.

In a separate letter to Dr Lightfoot, Judge Kaplan has asked her evidence to include Ms Giuffre's medical treatment, her diagnosis of Ms Giuffre, matters discussed during their sessions, and claims made about Andrew.

Testimony is also sought from Dr Lightfoot about her opinions of the alleged psychological harm suffered by Ms Giuffre, theory of false memories and the consequences of her childhood trauma.

Andrew previously took the dramatic decision to face his accuser in court and become the first member of the modern royal family to submit to being cross-examined over serious allegations.

David Boies, who is representing Ms Giuffre in her lawsuit against Andrew, said his client and legal team were looking forward to "confronting" the royal about his "denials".

Judge Kaplan has requested that the testimony of all four witnesses be completed by April 29.