Prince Andrew has challenged his sexual abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre’s residency status in a bid to have her civil case against him thrown out of court.
The Duke of York’s lawyers filed a motion on Tuesday that states Ms Giuffre, 38, is not a US citizen and thus the New York court does not have jurisdiction over the case.
Ms Giuffre alleges Prince Andrew forced her to have sex with him at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, and abused her at two homes belonging to paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The duke categorically denies the claims.
What are the ‘factual allegations’ stated in Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit?
The motion states that although “Ms. Giuffre alleges she is a citizen of the State of Colorado, the evidence demonstrates that she is actually domiciled in Australia, where she has lived for all but two of the past nineteen years”.
It claims she has “spent less than two years living in the United States since moving to Australia in 2002” and therefore her complaint is invalid.
Federal court rules do not allow both parties in an action to be foreign citizens.
Her ties to Colorado are “very limited”, Prince Andrew’s team argue. They also allege she has not lived in the US since “at least 2019”, approximately two years before she filed the lawsuit against the royal.
At the time she filed the action, “Ms. Giuffre had an Australian driver’s license and was living in an AUS$1.9 million home in Perth”, where “she and her husband have been raising their three children”.
The documents state she “only recently registered to vote in Colorado using her mother and stepfather’s mailing address there”.
The prince’s team claim “inconsistent pleadings from Ms. Giuffre’s various lawsuits and other documentary evidence” indicates “she is not a citizen of Colorado”.
The motion adds: “The court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this dispute and must dismiss the action as a matter of law.”
The duke’s legal team, led by Los Angeles-based lawyer Andrew Brettler, have asked judge Lewis Kaplan – who is overseeing the case – to halt proceedings while they investigate Ms Giuffre’s residency status.
In November, the judge scheduled the hearing of the case for 4 January.
Meanwhile, Maxwell pleaded not guilty to allegations she helped recruit and groom underage girls for Epstein to abuse. Jurors in her trial continue deliberations.
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