Andrew lawyers want to quiz accuser over 'false memory' as duke stripped of titles

15 January 2022, 13:22 | Updated: 15 January 2022, 13:33

Prince Andrew categorically denies the accusations against him
Prince Andrew categorically denies the accusations against him. Picture: Alamy/Rex Shutterstock

By Will Taylor

Prince Andrew's lawyers are set to argue that his accuser "may suffer from false memories", according to newly-released court documents.

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They also want to question the husband and psychologist of Virginia Giuffre, who is suing the Duke of York in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her as a teenager.

She claims she was trafficked by Andrew's friend, the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, to have sex with the royal when she was 17 – a minor in US law.

Prince Andrew vehemently denies the allegations.

He faces a civil trial in the US after his bid to have the case thrown out failed.

Read more: Smiling Charles brushes off question about Andrew hours after he was stripped of titles

Read more: Andrew's royal career 'finished' after being stripped of HRH and Royal titles by Queen

Documents show Andrew's lawyers want to argue not only that Ms Giuffre could suffer from "false memories" but are seeking to question Dr Judith Lightfoot, her psychologist.

They also want to ask about their sessions and any prescriptions she wrote for Ms Giuffre, who, along with Dr Lightfoot, is a resident of Australia. Both would be asked to get examined under oath in person or by video link.

The lawyers also want to question Robert Giuffre about how he met his wife around 2002 and their finances. The team has asked for testimony by April 29 or as soon as possible.

The trial is due to start between September and December. The ongoing fallout from Ms Giuffre's accusations have now seen Andrew lose his military titles and there are growing calls for him to have his Duke of York title stripped away because of the allegations.

Buckingham Palace has insisted he will defend himself as a private citizen amid calls for him to pay for his own security.

He has largely kept a low profile since the disastrous Newsnight interview in 2019.

Meanwhile, Ms Giuffre's lawyers are asking for witness accounts from Robert Olney, a former equerry, or assistant, of Andrew's, as well as from Shukri Walker, who claims she saw the duke in Tramp nightclub in London.

They say she claims to have seen him with a young woman who may have been Ms Giuffre.

Documents from Ms Giuffre's legal team say Mr Olney's name appears in Epstein's phone book under "Duke of York", and they say this means it is likely he has information about the prince's travel to Epstein's properties.

Ms Giuffre claims Andrew had sex with her against her will at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell - a former girlfriend of Epstein's - and at Epstein's mansion in Manhattan.

She also alleges he abused her during a visit to Epstein's private island, Little St James, and on a different occasion at the Manhattan mansion.