Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged Jeffrey Epstein victim, claims she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew on three occasions when she was 17, and is currently suing him for battery and infliction of emotional distress. However, the sides have been wrangling over whether the British royal has been properly served with documents in the case.
Prince Andrew has been served with a civil sexual assault lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, after the relevant legal papers were delivered to his US lawyer, reported The Guardian, citing court records.
The summons and complaint papers were sent by the accuser’s legal team via email on 17 September, and by FedEx to the Duke of York’s Los Angeles-based attorney Andrew Brettler on Monday, according to his accuser’s legal team.
The physical papers were left at the front desk of Brettler’s office, Lavely & Singer, according to the FedEx receipt cited in the court filing.
“Pursuant to Judge Kaplan’s September 16, 2021, order granting Plaintiff’s motion for alternate service (attached), I am serving by email the Summons and Complaint in the above-captioned matter on you in your capacity as counsel for the Defendant, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York,” stated the email sent to the disgraced royal’s lawyer.
According to the court filing, papers were also sent “to the designated central authority of the United Kingdom on the court’s behalf”, in other words, the Royal Courts of Justice in London. A spokeswoman for Prince Andrew, 61, was cited as saying the royal, who is reportedly staying at the Queen’s Scottish holiday estate, Balmoral,would not be making an official comment regarding the update in the legal case.
‘Hide and Seek’ Over Notification
The developments follow an earlier dispute over whether Prince Andrew had been properly served with the legal papers in the civil lawsuit filed against him. The legal team of his accuser,Virginia Giuffre (née Roberts) had argued that a copy of the lawsuit had earlier been left with a Metropolitan Police officer on duty at the main gates of the Duke’s home at Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park, on 27 August at 9.30am.
However, the embattled royal’s lawyers contested whether he has been officially notified. The Duke of York’s lawyer also slammed the lawsuit as “baseless, non-viable and potentially unlawful”. Giuffre’s legal team accused the prince of engaging in a “game of hide and seek behind palace walls” to dodge the legal papers.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, 38, has filed a civil complaint against Prince Andrew in the United States, following sworn testimony that she was several times trafficked out by the late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with him in 2001 while she was a minor. Now a married mother-of-three living in Australia, Giuffre is accusing the royal of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress over alleged misconduct at the London home of Epstein’s alleged “pimp” Ghislaine Maxwell, in New York, and in the US Virgin Islands on Epstein’s private island, Little Saint James.
Jeffrey Epstein’s ex-lover Maxwell is currently in a Brooklyn jail awaiting a November trial on grooming and sex-trafficking charges. Epstein died in a New York jail cell in 2019 after being charged with multiple child sex offences, with his death officially ruled a suicide. Prince Andrew has dismissed all allegations against him.
In a November 2019 “car crash” BBC interview he ventured to defend his friendship with the late tycoon Jeffrey Epstein.
While denying Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s claims, the royal had insisted he had “no recollection” of ever meeting the woman. In the wake of the clumsy interview, however, Prince Andrew was compelled to retire from royal duties.