Prince Andrew’s lawyers will press this Tuesday, January 4, the American justice system to dismiss a civil complaint for “sexual assault” filed by an American in New York for facts dating back to 2001, when she was still a minor. A crucial hearing is scheduled for 3 p.m., by videoconference, between a judge of the federal court in Manhattan, the lawyers of the second son of Queen Elizabeth and those of the accuser and alleged victim, Virginia Giuffre, now aged 38. .
The prince ‘categorically’ denies
In her civil complaint filed in August, Virginia Giuffre claims the British prince ‘sexually assaulted’ her three times in 2001 – when she was 17 and called Virginia Roberts in London, New York and the US Virgin Islands , in the residences of friends of the prince: the couple formed at the time by the American multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein and the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
Jeffrey Epstein, sexual predator of underage girls, figure of the international jet-set, committed suicide in prison in Manhattan in August 2019, at the age of 66, before his trial for sex crimes took place. His partner and accomplice for three decades, Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, has been in prison since the summer of 2020. She was found guilty last week in New York of sex trafficking teenage girls for the benefit of Jeffrey Epsteni and faces dozens of costs. years of imprisonment.
Virginia Giuffre, who was not a plaintiff in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, welcomed this judgment and said she hoped that others would “be accountable”, alluding to Prince Andrew. The prince’s lawyers have been doing everything for six months to block his complaint and are expected to plead before the judge that it is legally “unfounded.” The prince, 61, who is not being prosecuted, “categorically” denies having assaulted Virginia Roberts at the time and even claims not to remember this young girl.
A confidential document
On the civil level, his lawyers believe that he could escape justice thanks to an agreement sealed in 2009 between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre, who was also an alleged victim of the financier. Monday, the New York judges made public this settlement, so far remained confidential, under the terms of which Virginia Giuffre had received 500,000 dollars from her. And according to this transaction signed in Florida 12 years ago, Virginia Giuffre undertook not to prosecute either Jeffrey Epstein or “other potential defendants” in his entourage.
The name or royal title of the Duke of York is not mentioned in this contractual document, but the defense of Prince Andrew believes that it concerns all those close to Jeffrey Epstein, and therefore the prince. On the contrary, Virginia Giuffre’s lawyers retort that the British prince is not “covered” by this agreement which “does not cite him” and of which “he was not even aware” in 2009.
In addition, the Manhattan judge already rejected on December 31 another request for nullity made by Prince Andrew, on the grounds that Virginia Giuffre could not file a complaint in the United States because she resides in Australia. If all the prince’s appeals fail, a civil trial could be held “between September and December” 2022, the New York judge said this fall.
Finally, Virginia Giuffre’s lawyers demand that the prince produce a medical certificate attesting that his body does not perspire, that he is never “in sweat.” Because, in his last interview with the BBC in November 2019, he had denied having danced “in sweat” with Virginia Giuffre in a London nightclub more than 20 years ago, as she had told. The prince had then claimed to suffer from an impossibility of “sweating” since the Falklands war in 1982, where his body would have secreted too much adrenaline.
Widely distributed, many photos attest to the closeness between Prince Andrew, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and Virginia Giuffre. Notably a snapshot from the year 2000 showing the American financier, the British socialite and the prince on a hunting trip in the east of England. Another photo showing the prince and Virginia Giuffre hugging each other, all smiles, with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background.