Last month news broke that Jeffery Epstein victim,Virginia Giuffre, was suing Prince Andrew for damages related to alleged sexual assault. Documents filed in New York have revealed that Giuffre’s representatives have finally managed to serve the Duke of York by leaving papers with his security staff.
However, Prince Andrew’s lawyers are fighting back against the suit, claiming that the papers were ‘not properly’ served.
Prince Andrew’s lawyers claim the documents were ‘not properly’ delivered
Representatives of Giuffre, formally known as Virginia Roberts, served Prince Andrew by handing the papers to police officers at the gates of his home in Windsor ‘in a plastic sleeve and then in an A4 envelope.’
According to the Hague Convention, the team representing Giuffre would have had to serve the Duke in person. However, recent documents claimed that the papers were served ‘consistent with the provisions for service upon an individual defendant, under Section 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules, as required by the Supreme Court of Judicature in England & Wales.’
Previously, lawyer David Boies voiced intentions of serving the Duke in person, stating:
We'll present a copy of the complaint in a formal way. He is a foreign citizen, so we must do this under the Hague Convention.
Understandably, Prince Andrew has been unreachable for most of the summer, hiding out in Balmoral.
Despite the documents supposedly being given under the provision of UK law, Prince Andrew’s lawyers deny the Duke was correctly served and intend to fight back to get the lawsuit dropped altogether.
If the papers were served properly, it is understood that Prince Andrew would have had until the 21st of September to respond. However, it looks like this deadline may be delayed as Boies revealed it will now be up to the courts to confirm the service: ‘We will make a report to the court of what we have done. If the court confirms Andrew has been served, the judge will give him a deadline to respond.’
I don't really believe his legal team are going to ignore this - but that's what they have done consistently, so maybe that will happen. If Andrew doesn't respond there can be a default judgement against him.
‘The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions’
Virginia Giuffre is suing the Queen’s son for damages after he allegedly sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions when she was still a minor. She explained:
I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one's life by speaking out and demanding justice.
Giuffre, who would have been 17 at the time, claims that she was trafficked to Ghislaine Maxwell’s (Epstein’s supposed recruiter) London apartment in 2001, where she was forced to engage in sexual activities with the Duke. The documents read:
During this encounter, Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew forced Plaintiff, a child, to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will.
The documents also detailed two other accusations, that Prince Andrew allegedly exploited Giuffre at Little Saint James Island and Epstein’s New York mansion.
However, Prince Andrew has always vehemently denied the encounters, claiming he could ‘absolutely and categorically’ say that they ‘never happened.’
The Buckingham Palace also responded to Giuffre’s 2019 panorama interview, claiming Prince Andrew ‘unequivocally regrets his ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein’ and ‘deeply sympathises with those affected who want some form of closure.’
It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.’
However, since the allegations against Prince Andrew came to light, combined with the controversy surrounding his friendship with Epstein, he has stepped back from royal duties, and a source told The Daily Mail they suspect he may not return to public life:
Charles is of the opinion that even if Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s case against Prince Andrew fails, it serves as a stark reminder of the stain on the royal family’s reputation posed by Andrew’s ties to the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.