What to know about Prince Andrew’s sexual abuse lawsuit in the US

It’s an unprecedented situation for a senior member of the British royal family – the third child (and said to be the favorite son) of Queen Elizabeth II – and sets a dramatic series of legal actions that will attract worldwide attention and could have major repercussions for Buckingham Palace.

Joffrey alleges that she was trafficked by convicted sex offender and disgraceful financier Jeffrey Epstein and forced to perform sex acts with the royal family – allegations Andrew denies.

The suit said it was seeking damages “in the amount to be determined at trial,” in addition to attorneys’ fees and other compensation “as the court deems fair and appropriate.”

Andrew’s lawyers filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit late last year, but those efforts failed on Wednesday and they must now prepare the prince to face a New York court.

In his ruling, Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote that “Geoffer’s complaint is neither ‘incomprehensible’ nor ‘vague’ nor ‘vague’. It alleges that separate incidents of sexual assault occurred in certain circumstances in three identifiable locations. It specifies to whom the sexual assault is attributed.”

The prince’s reputation has already been badly damaged by his relationship with Epstein – and his friendship with Epstein’s ex-partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted in December for her role in facilitating Epstein’s abuse.

Here’s what you need to know about this condition and what’s next.

What are Joffrey’s allegations?

Joffrey, an alleged victim of Epstein, says she was forced to perform sexual acts with Andrew. She says Epstein trafficked and forced her to have sex with his friends – including the prince – at a time when she was underage (17) in the United States.

Joffrey says the assaults took place in London, New York, and the US Virgin Islands, and that Andrew knew she was a minor at the time, and that Epstein had trafficked her.

In the allegations made before the lawsuit was filed, Geoffrey alleged that in 2001 Epstein brought her to London, where she met Prince Andrew and went to a nightclub dance with Epstein, his then-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and Prince.

In a BBC interview that aired in 2019, Geoffrey said she was taken to Trump’s nightclub where Geoffrey alleged Andrew asked her to dance and he was “sweating all over me”.

Andrew, 61, has consistently denied the allegations, telling the BBC in 2019: “It didn’t happen. I can tell you categorically that it never happened. I don’t remember ever meeting this lady, absolutely nothing.”

He claimed in the same interview that he could not sweat, due to a rare medical condition, and that on the night he allegedly had sex with Giuffre, he was actually taking his daughter to a party at Pizza Express in Woking, southwest London.

Joffrey’s lawyers asked Andrew in court filings to provide documents proving both allegations. But Andrew’s team responded that they were unable to do so, because they had no documentation of a medical condition that prevented sweating, and could not identify anyone they met at the pizzeria.

What is the position of matters in the court case?

When the lawsuit was filed in August, Joffrey’s lawyers said the damages from the alleged accidents were “severe and permanent.”
Andrew’s legal team requested that the lawsuit be dismissed, saying it violated the terms of a confidential settlement agreement Joffrey had with Epstein in 2009.

That settlement was opened on January 3rd; It shows that Epstein paid Giuffre $500,000 to drop the case without any admission of liability or fault, and that Giuffre agreed to “release, release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge” and “any other person or entity that could have been included as the plaintiff.” It is possible.” She does not explicitly mention Andrew or anyone else’s name.

Andrew lost that effort on Wednesday; Kaplan ruled that “it cannot be said that the 2009 agreement makes clear, clearly and unambiguously, that the parties intended the instrument ‘direct’, ‘essential’ or ‘substantial’ in favor of Prince Andrew.”

It was not their first attempt to dismiss the lawsuit. In September Andrew’s lawyers claimed that the papers were not properly filed and that the case should be dismissed as a result.

Andrew now has until July 14 to answer questions about the case under oath, following a ruling by Judge Louis A. Kaplan last year. An appointment order signed by a judge in New York means that if Giuffre’s attorneys want to question Andrew, they must do so out of court and submit the interview by that date.

Wednesday’s ruling gives Andrew limited options on how to proceed.

He could still try to negotiate a settlement with Giuffre to avoid bringing the case to trial. He has repeatedly and categorically denied her allegations.

He could also choose to face trial, which could expose him to further scrutiny over his alleged past behaviour.

Another option is to not engage further and refuse to submit to the jurisdiction of the court. However, that would open it up to a potentially costly default judgment.

What is Andrew’s legal defense?

Andrew denied the allegations against him, telling the BBC in 2019: It didn’t happen.

Andrew’s lawyers also tried to change the narrative, claiming in an October court hearing that Giuffre’s allegations were motivated by money. CNN has contacted Giuffre’s attorney regarding the new claims; In their initial case files, her attorneys said Andrew caused “emotional distress” to Joffrey that was “severe and enduring.”

Andrew’s lawyers wrote in documents filed on October 29: “Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense” – the clearest sign yet that they are plotting the attack as they fight to save the reputation of the Queen’s third child.

The documents acknowledge that Joffrey “may have been a victim of sexual assault at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein…and nothing can justify, nor fully capture, the irreverence and gravity of Epstein’s brutal behavior against Joffrey, if so.”

Who is Prince Andrew?  & # 39;  reserve heir & # 39;  Facing a sexual assault case

But newspapers also seek to portray Giuffre as being motivated by money and accuse her of “deliberate recruitment and trafficking of young girls for sexual assault”.

They claim that Joffrey “trained and did, in fact, recruit other young women into Epstein’s sex-trafficking gang” and has since “benefited from the publicity all she could,” a dramatic escalation in the case that hinted at a hateful round of legal battles ahead.

Giuffre’s attorney, David Boyce, did not respond at the time to CNN’s request for comment on the allegations in court documents filed by Andrew’s attorneys.

In her lawyer’s initial lawsuit, Joffrey said she feared disobeying Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew “because of their strong connections, wealth and power”.
In late October, Boyce said Andrew’s lawyers’ request to dismiss the lawsuit “failed to meet the serious allegations” the prince was facing, Reuters reported.

“Most people can only dream of getting the sums of money that Joffrey has secured for herself over the years,” Andrew’s lawyers said in their October 29 document. “This provides a compelling reason for Joffrey to continue to bring petty lawsuits against individuals like Prince Andrew.”

Prince Andrew’s lawyers declined to comment when contacted by CNN previously.

Will Andrew have to face the questions himself?

Andrew has previously been accused of not cooperating with attempts to interview him as part of an investigation into an alleged sex trafficking ring that Epstein and Maxwell allegedly operated.

A spokesman for the US Attorney’s office in the Southern District of New York declined to comment.

As Joffrey’s case continues before the court, a mid-July deadline for answering questions under oath is likely to be reckoned with.

Until then, though, he is not due to appear in court and is unlikely to speak to the media about the case.

The prince has stepped back from his public duties and maintained a relatively low level of public appearance since a ridiculed television interview with BBC Newsnight in November 2019.

What does this mean for the royal family?

The long-running allegations that Andrew faces have significantly tarnished his public standing. In their request to dismiss the case, his attorneys acknowledged his “tarnished reputation”.
Facing pressure from the public and the media following the Newsnight interview, the prince stepped back from his royal duties in late 2019.
Civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew has broader implications for the British royal family
Aside from the days following the death of his father Prince Philip in early 2021, he has rarely appeared in public since then. He was even absent from the publicly posted photos of his eldest daughter Beatrice’s wedding in 2020.
The scandal has wider repercussions for the royal family, which has meanwhile had to confront criticism over the Andrew case and allegations of racism from Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex over the past year.

British tabloids often refer to the Duke as the Queen’s favorite child, so his long association with Epstein and Joffrey’s allegations against him marks a major fall from grace.

While the King and the senior royals have so far avoided damage to their reputations as a result of Joffrey’s case, the prospect of Andrew being forced to answer questions under oath would be unwelcome for the broader establishment.

CNN’s Lauren Said Morehouse contributed to this report.

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