The Times is reporting Prince Andrew’s lawyers will not attend a pre-trial hearing for his sexual assault civil case, which is due to take place in New York on Monday.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged victim of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, sued the 61-year-old in August this year. She claimed Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her when she was 17.
According to The Times, his accuser’s lawyers insisted he had been served court papers in accordance with English and international law. However, Andrew’s UK-based lawyers casted doubt on whether the papers were properly served, and are now asking for the papers to be served through a British court official.
“We reiterate that our client reserves all his rights, including to contest the jurisdiction of the US courts (including on the basis of potentially defective service),” Andrew’s lawyers wrote.
The new development comes a month after Giuffre filed a lawsuit against the 61-year-old prince in federal court in New York.
In a statement shared with People magazine at the time, Giuffre said, “Today my attorney filed suit against Prince Andrew for sexual abuse under the Child Victims Act. As the suit lays out in detail, I was trafficked to him and sexually abused by him.”
Meanwhile, in a seperate statement, Giuffre’s attorney, David Boies, told America’s ABC News, “If she doesn’t do it now, she would be allowing him to escape any accountability for his actions. And Virginia is committed to trying to avoid situations where rich and powerful people escape any accountability for their actions.”
According to the lawsuit, “Twenty years ago, Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her. It is long past the time for him to be held to account.”
The Guardian reports Giuffre has previously alleged that the late Epstein, who committed suicide in his jail cell in New York in August 2019, flew her to New York when she was 17 to have sex with Prince Andrew — something the prince and the British royal family have continuously denied.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” Giuffre said in a statement. “The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but one can reclaim her life by speaking out and demanding justice.