What to know about Prince Andrew’s sexual abuse trial in the United States

It is an unprecedented situation for a senior British royal – the third child (and reportedly favorite son) of Queen Elizabeth II – and sets in motion a dramatic series of lawsuits that will attract attention around the world and could have major consequences for Buckingham Palace.

Giuffre claims she was trafficked by convicted sex offender and the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and forced to perform sexual acts with the royal – allegations that Andrew denies.

She is seeking compensation “in an amount to be determined during the trial,” as well as attorneys’ fees and other additional relief “that the court may find just and correct,” according to the trial.

Andrew’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss at the end of last year, but that effort failed on Wednesday and they must now prepare the prince to appear in court in New York.

In his ruling, Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote that “Giuffre’s complaint is neither ‘incomprehensible’ nor ‘vague’ or ‘ambiguous.’ . ”

The prince’s reputation has already been severely tarnished by his relationship with Epstein – and his friendship with Epstein’s former partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted in December for her role in easing Epstein’s abuse.

Here’s what you need to know about the case and what comes next.

What are Giuffre’s claims?

Giuffre, an alleged victim of Epstein, says she was forced to perform sexual acts with Andrew. She says she was traded by Epstein and forced to have sex with his friends – including the prince – at a time when she was a minor (17) in the United States.

Giuffre says the assaults took place in London, New York and the US Virgin Islands, that Andrew was aware that she was a minor at the time and that she had been trafficked by Epstein.

In allegations made before the trial, Giuffre claimed that in 2001 Epstein brought her to London, where she was introduced to Prince Andrew and went to dance at a nightclub with Epstein, his then-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and the prince.

In a BBC interview aired in 2019, Giuffre said she had been taken to the Tramp nightclub, where, Giuffre claimed, Andrew asked her to dance and “sweat over me.”

In the lawsuits, Virginia Giuffre's attorneys said she had suffered
Andrew, 61, has been consistent rejected the allegations, told the BBC in 2019: “It did not happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you that it never happened. I have no memory of ever having met this lady, no one at all.”

He claimed in the same interview that he could not sweat due to a rare medical condition and that the night he is said to have had sex with Giuffre, he actually took his daughter to a party at a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking, southwest of London.

Giuffre’s lawyers asked Andrew at the trial to present documents proving both of those allegations. But Andrew’s team replied that he was unable to do so because he did not have any documents proving a medical condition that prevents sweating and he could not identify anyone he met at the pizza restaurant.

Where are the things in the trial?

When the lawsuit was filed in August, Giuffre’s lawyers said the damage from the alleged incidents was “serious and lasting.”
Andrews legal team asked for the action to be dismissed, saying it violated the terms of a confidentiality agreement that Giuffre entered into with Epstein in 2009.

That settlement was repealed on January 3rd; it shows that Epstein paid Giuffre $ 500,000 to drop the case without any admission of responsibility or guilt, and that Giuffre agreed to “forgive, release, acquit, satisfy and forever dismiss” parties and “any other person or entity that could have been included as a potential defendant. ” It does not explicitly name Andrew or anyone else.

Andrew lost that effort on Wednesday; Kaplan stated that “the 2009 agreement cannot be said to demonstrate clearly and unequivocally that the parties intended the instrument to” directly “,” primarily “or” substantially “benefit Prince Andrew.”

It was not their first attempt to have the trial rejected; in September, Andrews’ lawyers argued papers had not been served properly and that the case should be thrown out as a result.

Andrew now has until July 14 to potentially answer questions about the case under oath, following a ruling by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan last year. The schedule order signed by the New York judge means that if Giuffre’s lawyers want to question Andrew, they must do so out of court and submit the interview before that date.

The decision on Wednesday gives Andrew limited options on how to proceed.

He could still try to negotiate a settlement with Giuffre to avoid the case going to trial. He has repeatedly and categorically denied her claims.

He could also choose to face trial, which would open him up to more scrutiny of his alleged past behavior.

Another option is not to engage further and refuse to submit to the jurisdiction of the court. However, that would open him up to a potentially costly default judgment.

What is Andrew’s legal defense?

Andrew has denied the allegations against him and told the BBC in 2019: “It did not happen.”

Andrew’s lawyers have also tried to change the narrative, claiming in a violent lawsuit in October that Giuffre’s claims are motivated by money. CNN contacted Giuffre’s lawyers regarding the new claims; In their initial applications for the case, her attorneys said Andrew had inflicted on Giuffre “emotional distress,” which was “severe and lasting.”

“Giuffre has launched this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to obtain another payday at his expense,” Andrews’ lawyers wrote in the documents filed on October 29 – the clearest sign yet that they plan to go on the offensive, while fighting to save the reputation of the Queen’s third child.

The documents acknowledge that Giuffre “may well be a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein … and nothing can excuse, or fully capture, the disgust and seriousness of Epstein’s monstrous behavior towards Giuffre, if that is the case.”

Who is Prince Andrew?  the 'reserve heir' faces a lawsuit over sexual abuse

But the newspaper also seeks to paint Giuffre as money-driven, accusing her of “intentional recruitment and trafficking of young girls for sexual abuse.”

They claim that Giuffre “was trained for and actually recruited other young women for Epstein’s sex trade ring,” and has since “milked the commercial for everything she could,” a dramatic escalation in the case that hinted at an unpleasant round. legal battles ahead.

Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, did not respond at the time to CNN’s request for comment on the allegations in the court documents filed by Andrew’s lawyers.

In her lawyers’ initial application, Giuffre said she feared disobedience to Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew “because of their strong connections, wealth and authority.”
In late October, Boies said Andrews ‘lawyers’ proposal to dismiss “is incapable of confronting the serious charges” the prince faces. It reported Reuters.

“Most people could only dream of getting the amount of money that Giuffre has secured for himself over the years,” Andrews’ lawyers said in their Oct. 29 document. “This is a compelling motive for Giuffre to continue filing frivolous lawsuits against individuals like Prince Andrew.”

Prince Andrew’s lawyers declined to comment as they were contacted earlier by CNN.

Should Andrew ask questions himself?

Andrew has previously been accused of not cooperating in attempts to interview him as part of the investigation into the alleged sex trafficking ring, Epstein and Maxwell are alleged to have operated.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York declined to comment.

As Giuffre’s trial continues, he is likely to have to wait until mid-July to answer sworn questions.

Until then, however, he is not scheduled to appear in court and will hardly speak to the media about the case.

The prince resigned from public duties and has maintained a relatively low public profile since one much mocked TV interview with the BBC’s Newsnight program in November 2019.

What does this mean for the royals?

It has the long-standing accusations that Andrew faces dramatically tarnished his public status. In their motion to dismiss the case, his lawyers acknowledge his “tainted reputation.”
Over pressure from the public and the media in the wake of the Newsnight interview, The Prince resigned from royal duties at the end of 2019.
The civil case against Prince Andrew has wider implications for the British royal family
Except for the days after death of his father, Prince Philips, in early 2021, he has rarely appeared in public since. He was straight absent on publicly published photographs of his eldest daughter Beatrice’s wedding in 2020.
It has the scandal broader consequences for the royal family, who at the same time was forced to face criticism of Andrews case and allegation of racism from Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex over the past year.

British tabloids often refer to the Duke as the Queen’s favorite child, so his long association with Epstein and Giuffre’s accusations against him signals a sharp fall from grace.

While the monarch and other high-ranking royals have so far avoided harming their own reputation as a result of the Giuffre case, the prospect of Andrew being forced to answer questions under oath will be unwelcome to the wider institution.

CNN’s Lauren Said-Moorhouse contributed to this report.


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