Newsnight interview is evidence of his guilt, claim lawyers
PRINCE Andrew’s disastrous Newsnight interview in which he denied meeting a woman accusing him of sexual assault provides evidence of his ‘guilt’, court papers claim.
In documents filed in New York on Monday night, Virginia Roberts furiously hit back at the Duke of York’s attacks on her credibility after he accused her of launching a civil lawsuit in the US in pursuit of ‘another payday’.
Miss Roberts, who now uses the married name Giuffre, claims she was trafficked by Andrew’s friend Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the prince three times – in New York, London and the US Virgin Islands when she was 17 in 2001.
In August she sued the duke for unspecified damages.
The latest filing points out that when Andrew sat down with Emily Maitlis for his car-crash BBC interview in November 2019, he said that he could not recall meeting Miss Roberts.
Referring to a now-notorious photograph of the duke with his arm allegedly around the waist of Miss Roberts in a townhouse in Belgravia, London, belonging to Ghislaine Maxwell, David Boies, Miss Roberts’s attorney, said the denial was ‘so at odds with photographs and
‘Attempting to blame and shame’
other evidence that it is itself indicative of guilt’. In an attempt to have the case thrown out at an early stage, his legal team accused Miss Roberts of ‘profiting’ from her accusations for years.
But responding this week, lawyers for Miss Roberts said Andrew was trying to ‘avoid confronting his own misconduct’ by ‘attempting to blame and shame his victim’.
They added that, at the time of the alleged abuse, Miss Roberts feared she would be ‘killed’ if she did not do as the duke, Epstein and his alleged accomplice Maxwell ordered.
Outlining the acts said to have taken place at homes belonging to Epstein, Mr Boies wrote in a 45page filing: ‘Prince Andrew sexually abused Mrs Giuffre on a number of occasions when she was under the age of 18 including at Epstein’s New York mansion, where Prince Andrew touched Mrs Giuffre while Ghislaine Maxwell forced Mrs Giuffre and another victim to sit on his lap, and then forced Mrs Giuffre to engage in sex acts with him.
‘During each incident, Mrs Giuffre did not consent to engaging in any sexual activity with Prince Andrew, but she feared she would be harmed, and even killed, if she disobeyed Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew.’
He added: ‘During each incident, Prince Andrew knew that the plaintiff was a victim of sex trafficking, and intended to compel her into submission to gratify his own sexual desires.’ Andrew’s strongly-worded motion to dismiss the lawsuit, filed in October, accused Miss Roberts of ‘peddling... increasingly salacious and inconsistent accounts’ and ‘milking publicity for all she could’.
In response, Mr Boies said the filing had been used as a ‘press release’ for the prince to attack his accuser and such ‘baseless, defamatory’ comments could only be made in a lawsuit because otherwise Miss Roberts could sue for libel.
The prince’s lawyers, in trying to dismiss the case, have previously pointed out that Miss Roberts did not allege any sexual conduct until she joined a lawsuit in 2014.
Before this she made no allegation of sexual contact between herself and the duke despite engaging in numerous newspaper interviews about her relationship with Epstein.
However, Miss Roberts’s claim added: ‘She alleges that Prince Andrew forced her to engage in sex acts without her consent and abused another victim in front of her, all while knowing she was underage and that she was a sextrafficking victim.’
It added: ‘Especially considering the power and influence that Prince Andrew holds, he cannot contend that such conduct is not extreme and outrageous.’
Andrew has consistently denied the allegations against him.
Last night a spokesman for the prince declined to comment, however his legal team are expected to respond to the filing.
They have until December 13, with a hearing scheduled for January when the duke will try to have the entire case dismissed.