A US decide has ruled that authorized papers referring to a sexual assault lawsuit may be served to Prince Andrew by way of his LA-based mostly legal professionals.
The Duke of York, sixty one, has been accused of “actively evading” formal efforts to serve him with a lawsuit on behalf of Virginia Giuffre, who launched legal proceedings towards him last month.
She has accused Prince Andrew of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress over alleged misconduct from about 20 years ago.
Ms Giuffre, 38, was underage at the time of the alleged abuse, which she stated occurred across the time the financier Jeffrey Epstein was sexually abusing her.
Her legal staff sought intervention from district decide Lewis Kaplan, with legal professionals accusing the duke of dodging the papers, likening it to a “recreation of disguise and search behind palace partitions”.
In a blow to the duke – who denies all wrongdoing – Decide Kaplan stated the plan to ship the lawsuit to the prince’s Los Angeles-based mostly lawyer was “fairly calculated to deliver the papers served to the defendant’s attention”, no matter whether the prince “authorised” the lawyer to simply accept it.
Legal professionals for Ms Giuffre have argued they already properly served Prince Andrew in England, when a replica of the lawsuit was left with a police officer guarding the duke’s residence in Windsor.
It comes a day after the Excessive Courtroom in London stated it might organize for Andrew to be served if the events did not work out their own arrangement.
“We are grateful that the courtroom has granted various service on Prince Andrew. This strikes the case ahead,” Sigrid McCawley, a lawyer for Ms Giuffre, stated in an emailed statement.
Prince Andrew’s lawyer Andrew Brettler had no speedy remark.
Ms Giuffre alleges she was trafficked for sex by Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell while she was 17 and that the duke had sex together with her on three events – as soon as at Maxwell’s London residence, at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion, and on a personal island belonging to Epstein in the US Virgin Islands.
The civil lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.
Prince Andrew has denied all of Ms Giuffre’s accusations, and Mr Brettler informed a courtroom listening to on Monday that her case is “baseless, nonviable [and] probably illegal”.
Separately, a unique US decide has ruled that Prince Andrew can search the unsealing of a 2009 settlement his authorized group claims shields him from the sexual assault lawsuit.
Loretta A Preska stated in a written order that the duke can seek particulars of the settlement between Ms Giuffre and Epstein to which Andrew was not social gathering.
Mr Brettler stated he believes the settlement agreement “absolves our shopper from any and all liability”.
The prince stepped down from royal duties when details emerged about his relationship with sixty six-yr-previous Epstein, a registered intercourse offender who dedicated suicide whereas in prison in New York in August 2019 whereas awaiting trial on intercourse trafficking costs.