Are you being served? Andy sex case in court
LONDON: Prince Andrew will contest a US court’s jurisdiction over a civil suit brought by a woman who says he sexually abused her when she was just a teenager, according to court filings.
His lawyers also say he has not been served legal papers in the case, despite claims by his accuser’s lawyers that he has.
The news comes as the Queen’s second son appointed Hollywood “super lawyer” Andrew Brettler, who specialises in media and entertainment litigation.
Court papers filed in New York state that Mr Brettler will represent the prince “for the purpose of contesting purported service of process and challenging jurisdiction”.
During a 30-minute pretrial hearing, Mr Brettler, who also represents actor Armie Hammer, said the “baseless” case should be dismissed.
Australian woman Virginia Giuffre says she was “lent out” for underage sex by late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in a New York prison in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking minors.
Ms Giuffre sued Andrew last month, alleging he sexually abused her at the London home of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell more than 20 years ago, when she was under 18.
Ms Giuffre also claims Andrew sexually abused her at Epstein’s New York mansion and on Little St James, Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.
Andrew, 61, has vehemently denied claims he had sex with her and says he has no recollection of meeting her.
Ms Giuffre is suing Andrew under the US Child Victims Act, as she was 17 at the time of the alleged offences.
An agent for Ms Giuffre said in an affidavit last week that he handed the papers to a police officer at the gates of Andrew’s home in Windsor, England, on August 27, but did not meet him personally.
However, Andrew’s legal team claims the papers should have been served through a British court official.
Judge Lewis Kaplan gave Ms Giuffre’s team another week to serve the prince, who is in Scotland with the Queen.
He reportedly appeared unimpressed by the argument made by Andrew’s team, and told them: “You have a pretty high degree of certainty that he can be served sooner than later. Let’s cut the technicalities and get to the substance.”
David Boies, who is representing Ms Giuffre, said the papers had been served in “several ways”, including to Andrew’s last-known address.