British High Court serving documents on prince if necessary, allowing Virginia Giuffre's prosecution, filed in New York, to stand continue.
LONDON - The UK High Court on Wednesday agreed to intervene in a sexual assault lawsuit against Prince Andrew, paving the way for him to respond to a claim in the United States that he sexually abused a minor while a guest of Jeffrey Epstein.
A drew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, has denied the allegations, and his American lawyer argued Monday that the lawsuit, brought by Virginia Giuffre, was " baseless, unsustainable and potentially illegal "Lawyer Andrew B. Brettler also argued that the legal documents were not properly served on his client in Grande-Bretagne.
The High Court, which said it was responding to information provided by Ms Giuffre's lawyers, agreed to serve the documents on Andrew if both parties couldn't find a way to do it. Andrew visited the Queen at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, complicating the process.
The allegations against Andrew, 61, known as Duke of York, led to his exiled from official duties and cast a shadow over the royal family. Royal observers said the family were bracing for damaging pulgations both in the Giuffre lawsuit and coming from longtime companion Mr. epstein, ghislaine maxwell.
Mr. Epstein, a sex offender and prominent financier,committed suicide in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
Lawyers for the prince in Britain have not commented on the decision of the High Court, and Mr. Brettler did not respond to an email seeking comment.
Ms. Giuffre's attorney, David Boies, said the trial was now likely to move faster and it was inevitable that Andrew would have to respond to Ms Giuffre's request in New York.
"I think other delay tactics will not be of much use to him " Mr Boies said in an interview, adding that although the prince managed to delay the case for a month or two, that wouldn't help and would only make him focus more attention on the matter.
" To refuse to accept the service, to dodge the service, to hide in the palace does it simplynt look bad, ”Boies said. "I somehow don't understand what playbook they are using.
In her trial, Ms. Giuffre, 38, claimed that Andrew had sexually assaulted her at Mr. Epstein's New York mansion and on Mr. Epstein's private island of Little St James in the US Virgin Islands. Ms Giuffre also said in the lawsuit that Andrew, along with Mr Epstein and Ms Maxwell, forced her to have sex with the prince at Ms Maxwell's home in London.
Mr. Epstein, 66, who was arrested in July y 2019, was found dead by hanging a month later in his Manhattan jail cell; the death was ruled a suicide. Federal prosecutors accused him of recruiting dozens of underage girls toengaging in sex acts with him at his Manhattan mansion and Palm Beach estate, and paying them hundreds of dollars in cash afterwards.
Mrs. Maxwell, who was arrested in July 2020 , is on trial in November for helping Mr. Epstein recruit, treat and sexually assault underage girls. In one case, she was charged with sex trafficking a 14 year old girl.
Andrew has not been charged with any felony.
Mr. Brettler, the prince's US-based attorney, argued before a Manhattan federal judge on Monday that his client had not been properly served with legal documents in Britain and that Ms Giuffre's trial could be invalid anyway under a previous report conconfidential. settlement they said she made with Jeffrey Epstein.
"We have serious concerns about the merits of this lawsuit Mr. Brettler told Judge Lewis A. Kaplan of the Manhattan Federal District Court.
Judge Kaplan, however, said he There was "a fairly high degree of certainty that it could be served sooner or later " and suggested the parties get to the bottom of the matter.
Mark Landler reported from London and Benjamin Weiser from New York. Susan C. Beachy contributed to the research.