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Prince Andrew spotted horse riding at Windsor ahead of anxious Christmas – court date set

Prince Andrew 'non-committal' in defence says expert

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The Duke of York looked relaxed as he ambled along with another rider at Windsor Great Park, Berkshire, which is public property. Pictures emerged as the civil case brought against him by Virginia Giuffre reached its next stage.

The 38-year-old is suing the 61-year-old royal for “unspecified damages” – claiming that he sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager.

Specifically, she asserts that she had sex with the father-of-two on three occasions.

Andrew vehemently denies all the allegations and insists that he has “no recollection” of ever meeting her despite there being a picture of the pair together in 2001.

His lawyers have rubbished her civil case – lodged in a New York court – and have applied to have it dismissed claiming that is it “without merit”.

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This week, US Judge Lewis Kaplan said the court would hear “the defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint” on the morning of January 4 – leaving Andrew with an agonising wait over the festive period.

In her case, Ms Giuffre alleges that convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein used her as a sex slave and lent her out to his wealthy and powerful associates, including Andrew.

Andrew’s lawyers hit back in legal documents which emerged last week.

In these, they claim that a 2009 document Ms Giuffre signed with Epstein – who died awaiting trial in 2019 – made her civil case against him void.

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This was because the agreement forbade her from ever bringing future cases against the convicted paedophile or his associates, including royalty, they say.

They claim this clause exempts the prince from the forthcoming case.

It also branded Ms Giuffre’s claims as “baseless” and financially motivated.

The document states: “Accusing a member of the world’s best known Royal Family of serious misconduct has helped Giuffre create a media frenzy online and in the traditional press.

“Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him.

“Epstein’s abuse of Giuffre does not justify her public campaign against Prince Andrew.”

Should the prince’s request be rejected, a civil trial should take place “between September and December next year”, Judge Kaplan said in a recent hearing.

Should this materialise, Ms Giuffre’s legal team are expected to request that the Duke of York gives testimony under oath.

It is possible that his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson could be called to give evidence.

Express.co.uk has contacted Andrew’s representatives for comment.

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