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Judge Rules Prince Andrew Isn’t Quite Off the Hook in Giuffre Assault Case

Judge Rules Prince Andrew Isn’t Quite Off the Hook in Giuffre Assault Case

Prince Andrew’s effort to immediately block the progression of a lawsuit by a woman who says he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 — on the grounds that she no longer lives in the U.S. — was rejected by a federal judge as oral arguments were set to proceed Monday on the Prince’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, in a written order Friday, told the Prince’s lawyers they must turn over documents on the schedule that has been set in the lawsuit brought in August by Virginia Giuffre, who says she was abused by the Prince on multiple occasions in 2001 while she was being sexually abused by financier Jeffrey Epstein. The Prince’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, has called the lawsuit “baseless.”

Donald Trump hanging out with Prince Andrew decades ago
Portrait of, from left, American real estate developer Donald Trump, his girlfriend (and future wife), former model Melania Knauss, and British Prince Andrew, Duke of York, as they pose together at the Mar-a-Lago estate, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000. (Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images)

The order was filed three days before the scheduled public release Monday of a 2009 settlement agreement between Epstein and Giuffre. Lawyers for Prince Andrew said that the agreement protects the Prince from claims like those brought by Giuffre and will be sufficient grounds for the lawsuit’s dismissal.

The lawyers had claimed that the evidence was so strong that Giuffre does not reside in the United States that it was pointless to exchange evidence until that question is resolved because it could result in the lawsuit’s dismissal. They argued that Giuffre has lived in Australia all but two of the past 19 years, has an Australian driver’s license, and lives in a $1.9 million home in Perth, Western Australia, where she has been raising three children with her husband, who is Australian.

In October, the Prince’s lawyers had attacked the lawsuit on multiple grounds, saying Giuffre had made false claims against Andrew because he “never sexually abused or assaulted” her.

In a statement, Virginia Giuffre’s attorney Sigrid McCawley called the request to halt the case “just another in a series of tired attempts by Prince Andrew to duck and dodge the legal merits of the case Virginia Giuffre has brought against him. All parties in litigation are subject to discovery and Prince Andrew is no exception.”

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