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U.S. Court Will Hold Pretrial Conference In Prince Andrew Sexual Assault Case

As previously reported, Prince Andrew has formally been served in a civil suit filed by a woman who claims the royal sexually assaulted her at a home owned by Jeffrey Epstein. Now a US court will hold a pretrial conference as the two sides are now arguing over whether the prince was properly served with those documents.

Lawyers for Virginia Roberts Giuffre say the documents were handed over to a Metropolitan police officer on duty at the main gates of Andrew’s home in Windsor Great Park on August 27th. But Blackfords, a law firm that claims to represent Prince Andrew “in certain UK matters”, has questioned whether the papers were properly served and raised the possibility of challenging the court’s jurisdiction in the case, according to a September 6th letter referenced in court documents filed by Giuffre’s attorneys. The prince has repeatedly denied the allegations in the lawsuit brought by Giuffre, 38, a longtime accuser of Epstein, the late convicted sex offender with ties to celebrities such as the prince and Donald Trump, among other notables.

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)
Photo by Davidoff Studios/Getty Images

Now a U.S. judge will ultimately determine whether the papers were properly delivered. Judge Lewis Kaplan of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York will hold the first pretrial conference in the case via teleconference on Monday.

When the suit was filed last month, legal experts suggested it left Andrew with no good options as he seeks to repair his image and return to public life. If the prince tries to ignore the lawsuit, he runs the risk that the court could find him in default and order him to pay damages. If he decides to fight, Andrew faces years of sordid headlines as the case winds its way through court. Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, said in court documents that it was implausible that Andrew was unaware of the suit.



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