A combination of photos created on January 12, 2022, showing Prince Andrew in Windsor on April 11, 2021 and Virginia Giuffre in New York on October 22, 2019 (POOL/Steve Parsons)
British Prince Andrew, embarrassed for years by his ties to the sulphurous financier Jeffrey Epstein, failed to dismiss the civil complaint of an American woman who accuses him of sexual assault in 2001, when she was 17 years old.
In this case, embarrassing for Buckingham Palace, the second son of Queen Elizabeth, who vigorously denies the charges, therefore still risks a civil trial.
If all the appeals were rejected, this trial could be held “between September and December” 2022, New York judge Lewis Kaplan said in the fall of 2021.
Virginia Giuffre, a 38-year-old American now living in Australia, has publicly singled out Andrew for years. But last summer she decided to take the matter to court and filed a complaint in New York accusing him of being one of the powerful friends Jeffrey Epstein allegedly turned her over to. sexually abuses her.
Prince Andrew in Windsor, UK on April 11, 2021 (POOL/Steve Parsons)
Virginia Giuffre accuses the prince of sexually assaulting her three times in 2001, when she was 17, in London, New York and the US Virgin Islands.
She “is obviously happy” that the prince’s request “has been rejected” and that evidence can now “be collected” to support his complaint, reacted his lawyer, David Boies.
– “Ambiguous” agreement –
The prince’s camp has been doing everything for six months to convince American justice to abandon this procedure. This time, to obtain the dismissal of the complaint, his lawyers had brandished a 2009 agreement, by which Virginia Giuffre undertook not to prosecute Jeffrey Epstein, as well as “other potential defendants”, against a compensation of 500,000 dollars from the American multi-millionaire.
Key developments surrounding the sexual assault complaint filed against Prince Andrew (AFP/)
But in a 46-page ruling, Judge Kaplan said the agreement “falls far from a model of clarity and precision in its drafting”, calling it “ambiguous”. As a result, he judges that the prince’s request must be “denied in all respects”.
Virginia Giuffre’s lawyers argued that the prince was in no way “covered” by the 2009 transaction, applicable according to them only in Florida – Epstein had one of his residences in Palm Beach – and of which he had no “not even aware” at the time.
The prince, 61, has been embarrassed for years by his ties to Jeffrey Epstein, who died in prison in 2019, and his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who was found guilty in December of sex trafficking in Manhattan federal court and now faces dozens years in prison.
– Playboy turned pariah –
Within the British royal family, the one who was a playboy and a brave soldier, and who today appears as an outcast, “categorically” denies having attacked Virginia Giuffre.
(lr) Undated photo taken at an unspecified location, released on August 9, 2021 by US Justice of Prince Andrew with Virginia Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell ( US District Court – Southern District of New York (SDNY) / Handout )
In an interview deemed calamitous on the BBC in November 2019, the prince claimed not to even remember the young girl. He also denied having danced “in sweat” with her in a London nightclub more than 20 years ago, as she had said, arguing that it was impossible to “sweat” since the Falklands war in 1982 , where his body would have secreted too much adrenaline.
Within the framework of the procedure in New York, the lawyers of Virginia Giuffre claim with those of Andrew a medical certificate attesting that his body does not perspire.
Widely distributed, many photos attest to the closeness between Andrew, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell and Virginia Giuffre. A snap from 2000 shows the American financier, British socialite and prince out hunting in the east of England. In another, Andrew and Virginia Giuffre hug each other, all smiles, with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background.
Judge Kaplan had rejected on December 31 another request for nullity filed by the prince, on the grounds that Virginia Giuffre could not file a complaint in the United States because she resides in Australia.