Americas

Prince Andrew seeks dismissal of accuser Virginia Giuffre’s civil lawsuit in New York

Prince Andrew’s lawyers in the US have asked a judge to dismiss his accuser Virginia Giuffre’s civil lawsuit.

Ms Giuffre has accused the Duke of York of sexually abusing her when she was 17, more than 20 years ago.

The duke denies all allegations made against him.

His request was filed on Friday with the US District Court in Manhattan.

In court documents seen by Sky News, Prince Andrew states the lawsuit should be dismissed because Ms Giuffre failed to “state a claim warranting relief” and has asked the court to hold oral arguments on his application.

Ms Giuffre’s representatives have been approached for comment by Sky News.

Ms Giuffre, 38, sued the duke in August, accusing him of forcing her to have sex when she was underage at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and former girlfriend of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The lawsuit also alleges that Prince Andrew abused Ms Giuffre at Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan and one of Epstein’s private islands in the Virgin Islands.

On Wednesday, the Duke’s lawyer Andrew Brettler called the lawsuit “baseless” and asked a judge to keep sealed a 2009 legal agreement that he says can protect the prince against claims

The request was made in court papers in Manhattan federal court, where US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan is presiding over the dispute.

On Monday, Judge Kaplan ruled Prince Andrew must be questioned under oath by Ms Giuffre’s lawyers in her civil sexual assault case by mid-July next year.

Prince Andrew has vehemently denied the claims against him, telling the BBC in late 2019 he never had sex with Ms Giuffre, saying, “It never happened”.

Ms Maxwell is currently awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking, which she denies.

Her brother, Ian, told Sky News that he believes prison officers have “physically abused his sister“.

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