Prince Andrew served with sexual assault lawsuit in US, court papers show

Under federal rules, the prince has 21 days to respond or could face a default judgment

Lawyers for Virginia Giuffre said they sent the civil lawsuit to the prince’s Los Angeles-based lawyer Andrew Brettler by email and FedEx, and both copies had been received by Monday morning. Photograph: Steve Parsons/WPA Pool/Getty

Lawyers for Virginia Giuffre said they sent the civil lawsuit to the prince’s Los Angeles-based lawyer Andrew Brettler by email and FedEx, and both copies had been received by Monday morning. Photograph: Steve Parsons/WPA Pool/Getty

 

Britain’s Prince Andrew has been served with a lawsuit alleging sexual assault in the United States by lawyers for a woman who says she was forced to have sex with him at the London home of a friend of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, court papers show.

In a filing with the US district court in Manhattan, lawyers for Virginia Giuffre said they sent the civil lawsuit to the prince’s Los Angeles-based lawyer Andrew Brettler by email and FedEx, and both copies had been received by Monday morning.

Under federal rules, the prince has 21 days to respond or could face a default judgment. Ms Giuffre’s lawyers previously said they also served the prince, who is Queen Elizabeth’s second son, in Britain.

The prince and his lawyers have denied Ms Giuffre’s claims. The 61-year-old prince has not been charged with crimes. Giuffre’s August 9th lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

Mr Brettler did not respond to a request for comment. There was no comment from the prince’s London legal team.

Ms Giuffre (38) accused the prince of forcing her to have sex when she was underage at the London home of Epstein’s longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

She also said the prince abused her at around the same time in Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.

Epstein, a financier and registered sex offender, killed himself in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Ms Giuffre sued under New York’s Child Victims Act, a 2019 law giving survivors of childhood sexual abuse a window to sue their alleged abusers over conduct that occurred many years or decades earlier. The deadline to sue has since passed.

US district judge Lewis Kaplan, who oversees Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit, has urged both sides not to dwell on “technicalities” and instead to focus on the case’s substance.

“I can see a lot of legal fees being spent and time being expended and delay, which ultimately may not be terribly productive for anyone,” Mr Kaplan said at a September 13th hearing.

Last week London’s High Court said it would arrange for the prince to be served if the parties failed to work out their own arrangement and gave the prince’s lawyers a week to appeal that decision.

A source close to the prince’s lawyers said it was highly unlikely any challenge would be pursued now.

Ms Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges she helped recruit and groom underage girls for Epstein to abuse. Her trial is set for November 29th. – Reuters