New York Daily News
Federal judge slams Andrew’s effort to ignore lawsuit by Epstein accuser
A federal judge made clear Monday that Prince Andrew won’t be getting the royal treatment.
Appearing for the first time in the Duke of York’s defense, lawyer Andrew Brettler disputed the legality of how Andrew was served a sexual abuse lawsuit brought by Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.
Andrew was served the suit on Aug. 27 at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, irking lawyers for the royal who is ninth in line for the British throne.
“We believe this is an illegal action,” Brettler said at the teleconference hearing, describing Giuffre’s lawsuit as “baseless, nonviable and potentially unlawful.”
Giuffre’s lawyers sued Prince Andrew on Aug. 9 in Manhattan Federal Court, claiming the British royal had sex with her while she was underage in the early 2000s. She says the abuse occurred at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London townhouse, Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion and Epstein’s private island in the Virgin Islands.
Judge Lewis Kaplan had little time for the legal arguments over service of the lawsuit, advising Brettler he could only stall the case for so long.
“I have a foreign national who has been sued in a United States court, and he’s taking a position that he has not been sued,” Kaplan said. “You have a pretty high degree of certainty that he can be served sooner than later. Let’s cut out all the technicalities and get to the substance.”
Federal prosecutors in
Manhattan investigating Epstein’s enablers have criticized Andrew for not cooperating with their probe. Andrew has denied wrongdoing.
The royal argues he is exempt from Giuffre’s suit thanks to a settlement agreement she signed to resolve a 2009 lawsuit against Epstein, papers show.
Maxwell, currently in federal lockup in Brooklyn’s
Metropolitan Detention Center, is slated to go to trial in November on charges she groomed and enticed minors for Epstein. She has pleaded not guilty.
Attorney David Boies filed Giuffre’s suit under New York’s Child Victims Act. An out-of-court claims program awarded nearly $125 million to some 150 Epstein victims.