Prince Andrew requests dismissal of Virginia Giuffre sexual abuse lawsuit

30 October 2021, 01:18

Prince Andrew's lawyers have requested the case be thrown out.
Prince Andrew's lawyers have requested the case be thrown out. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Lawyers for Prince Andrew have asked a US judge to dismiss a sexual abuse lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre.

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The royal said he "unequivocally denies" sexually abusing or assaulting her.

It comes after Ms Giuffre claimed she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein - the duke's former friend - to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.

The allegations, which Andrew has repeatedly denied, were labelled "false" in a document filed to a district court on Friday, which added that the duke's "sullied reputation is only the latest collateral damage of the Epstein scandal".

Read more: Prince Andrew's lawyer asks US Judge to keep 2009 legal agreement sealed

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."

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The filing said Ms Giuffre settled sex trafficking and abuse claims against Epstein in 2009 with a "broad release" negotiated by the convicted sex offender, "insisting that it cover any and all persons who Giuffre identified as potential targets of future lawsuits, regardless of the merit - or lack thereof - to any such claims".

The agreement, which remains sealed, is said to cover "royalty" according to Friday's filing, and therefore "the Court must dismiss her claims here in light of the plain language of the Release Agreement."

It added: "Virginia Giuffre may well be a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein, and nothing can excuse, nor fully capture, the abhorrence and gravity of Epstein's monstrous behaviour against Giuffre, if so.

"However, and without diminishing the harm suffered as a results of Epstein's alleged misconduct, Prince Andrew never sexually abused or assaulted Giuffre.

"He unequivocally denies Giuffre's false allegations against him."