Prince Andrew: Expert on 'tarnishing image' of legal case
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Prince Andrew has seen his reputation marred by sex abuse claims made against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a former victim of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Prince Andrew has strongly denied these claims. He now faces a lengthy legal battle in the US. Here’s the latest on the ongoing civil lawsuit brought against him.
A legal battle has been brought against the Duke of York by Ms Giuffre, formally known as Virginia Roberts.
Ms Giuffre’s lawyers filed the civil suit at a New York federal court last month, where she is seeking unspecified damages from the Duke.
She alleges she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew by Jeffrey Epstein on three separate occasions while she was just 17-years-old.
Prince Andrew has categorically denied all of the allegations brought against him.
Malcolm Johnson, Head of the Child Abuse Compensation team at Lime Solicitors has given an update on the court case from his perspective to Express.co.uk.
Until recently the Duke appeared to be ignoring the charges brought against him.
But now “it appears that Prince Andrew has now been validly served with the proceedings, and he will be required under US law to file a defence.”
As the case has been filed in New York Prince Andrew will now have 20 days to put in an “answer” or a defence to the claim.
Mr Johnson explained Prince Andrew’s lawyers could then try to get the claim dismissed.
Or they could try to get the claim brought before an English court instead of an American one.
Could the claim get dismissed?
A previous settlement between Ms Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein might enable Prince Andrew to dismiss the claims against him.
Mr Johnson explained: “There’s the issue of the alleged prior settlement agreement.
“We know that when the case came before a judge in New York on Monday, the Prince’s American lawyers said that there had been a 2009 settlement between Ms Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein, which had allegedly released the Prince from “any and all liability”.
He said Prince Andrew’s legal team “might apply to the court by a “motion” for judgment to dismiss the claim because of this previous settlement.
He added: “This could result in the dismissal of the claim before it gets to trial by a jury.”
What will happen if the courts refuse to dismiss the claim?
If Prince Andrew’s lawyers cannot get the case dismissed, or if they cannot persuade the courts to bring the matter before an English court, a full trial will start.
Mr Johnson said: “The case will then move into what lawyers call the ‘disclosure’ stage where both sides exchange the evidence that they have in support of their case.
“At this point, witnesses will be interviewed by both sides who may support or contradict the claimant’s case.
“If the New York court decides to deal with the case in its entirety, then the Prince’s lawyers could run the argument that the Epstein settlement spells the end of the claimant’s case.
“If that does not work, then the Prince’s lawyers are left to try and strike out the claim in some other way, or simply defend it to trial.
“Settlement is one option, which could be kept confidential by agreement between the parties.”
Express.co.uk has contacted Buckingham Palace for comment.
Source: Read Full Article