Judge: Prince Andrew cannot stop trial with request for domicile
Prince Andrew’s efforts to immediately block progress in a lawsuit filed by a woman who says she sexually assaulted her when she was 17 – on the grounds that she no longer lives in the United States – has been dismissed by a federal judge as pleadings were to continue Monday on the prince’s request to dismiss the lawsuit.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, in a written order on Friday, told the prince’s attorneys they must deliver the documents according to the schedule set in Virginia Giuffre’s August lawsuit. Giuffre says she was assaulted by the prince on multiple occasions in 2001 while being sexually assaulted by financier Jeffrey Epstein. The prince’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler, called the lawsuit “without merit”.
The order was filed three days before the scheduled release Monday of a 2009 settlement agreement between Epstein and Giuffre. Andrew’s lawyers say the deal protects the prince from claims such as those brought by Giuffre and will be sufficient grounds for dismissing the lawsuit.
Lawyers for the prince had claimed that the evidence was so strong that Giuffre did not reside in the United States that there was no point exchanging evidence until this issue was resolved as it could result in the case being dismissed.
They argued that Giuffre had lived in Australia for all but two of the past 19 years, had an Australian driver’s license and lived in a $ 1.9 million house in Perth, Western Australia, where she was raising three children with her husband, who is Australian.
In a statement, Giuffre’s lawyer Sigrid McCawley called the request to stop the case “just another in a series of tired attempts by Prince Andrew to dodge and dodge the legal merits of the case. Virginia Giuffre’s case against him. All disputed parties are subject to discovery and Prince Andrew is no exception. “
Kaplan, in a one-page order, noted that the prince’s attorneys requested that “voluminous” documents be handed over by Giuffre by Jan. 14, including documents related to where she lived. And he said the prince’s lawyers have yet to formally raise the defense that the trial cannot be continued on the grounds that Giuffre lives in Australia rather than Colorado, where her lawyers say she is a resident. .
On the cover of a lawsuit in September 2015, Giuffre indicated his address was Penrose, Colorado. In the cover letter to a lawsuit in April 2019, she indicated her address was Palm Cove, Australia, and checked a box as “citizen or subject of a foreign country”. But in her lawsuit against the prince, she listed her address as Ocean Reef, Western Australia, but checked a box that said “citizen of another state.”
Kaplan’s order expressed no opinion on the merits of the prince’s claims that Giuffre should be disqualified from prosecution because she lives in Australia.
Oral pleadings via video conference on the prince’s request to close the case are scheduled for Monday morning.
In October, the prince’s lawyers attacked the lawsuit on multiple grounds, claiming Giuffre made false statements against Andrew because he “never assaulted or sexually assaulted” her.
“Giuffre has taken this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to get another salary at his own expense and at the expense of those close to him. Epstein’s abuse of Giuffre does not justify his public campaign against Prince Andrew,” the arguments said. written.
Epstein committed suicide in Manhattan federal prison in August 2019 while awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was convicted on Wednesday of charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy after a month-long trial.
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they choose to come forward publicly, as Giuffre did.