Judge Denies Prince Andrew's Motion to Dismiss Virginia Giuffre Lawsuit

A judge has rejected Prince Andrew’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought forth by Virginia Giuffre, who has accused the royal of sexually abusing her when she was under 18.

By Elyse Dupre, Cydney Contreras Jan 12, 2022 7:54 PMTags
Watch: Jeffrey Epstein's Confidante Ghislaine Maxwell Arrested

UPDATE: A judge has denied Prince Andrew's motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought forth by Virginia Giuffre

"Ms. Giuffre's complaint is neither 'unintelligible' nor 'vague' nor 'ambiguous," U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan for the Southern District of New York said on Jan. 12. "It alleges discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances at three identifiable locations. It identifies to whom it attributes that sexual abuse."

After the decision was made, Giuffre's attorney David Boies issued a statement to E! News. "Ms. Giuffre is, of course, pleased that Prince Andrew's motion to avoid a trial has been denied, and that evidence will now be taken concerning her claims," Boies said. "She looks forward to a judicial determination of the merits of those claims."

In August, Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew and accused him of committing battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. She alleged that late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and others trafficked her to Prince Andrew and that the royal sexually abused her when she was under 18. Prince Andrew has denied the allegations.

E! News has reached out to his attorney for comment but has yet to hear back. Buckingham Palace also told The Associated Press it would not be commenting on the "ongoing legal matter."

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Virginia Giuffre has filed a new lawsuit against Prince Andrew.

On Monday, Aug. 9, the 38 year old filed a lawsuit against the 61-year-old British royal at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, in which she seeks damages for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

According to the documents obtained by E! News, she accuses the Duke of York of sexually abusing her on three separate occasions, claiming he knew that she was being trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and his associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, who in December 2021 was recently found guilty of conspiracy to entice minors to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, conspiracy to transport minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of minors and sex trafficking of minors. 

Additionally, the lawsuit states Prince Andrew knew she was under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged encounters, which allegedly took place in London, New York and on Epstein's private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, as Epstein and Maxwell disclosed this information in "communications" between them and the prince. The documents read, "Twenty years ago Prince Andrew's wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her. It is long past the time for him to be held to account."

According to the documents, Prince Andrew's alleged sexual and physical abuse of Giuffre caused "significant emotional and psychological distress and harm."

The lawsuit alleges Giuffre was "compelled" to engage in sexual acts with the prince as she "feared death or physical injury" would occur if she didn't obey Prince Andrew, Epstein or Maxwell. 

Ray Tang/LNP/Shutterstock, Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Giuffre said in a statement to E! News, "Today my attorney filed suit against Prince Andrew for sexual abuse under the Child Victims Act. As the suit lays out in detail, I was trafficked to him and sexually abused by him."

"I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one's life by speaking out and demanding justice," she continued. "I did not come to this decision lightly. As a mother and a wife, my family comes first - and I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates - but I knew if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down."

E! News reached out to representatives of Prince Andrew for comment but did not hear back.

REX/Shutterstock

Prince Andrew previously denied Giuffre's sexual assault allegations in a 2019 BBC interview, in which he said he doesn't remember meeting a then-17-year-old Giuffre, who has previously discussed the allegations in court and for documentaries. The royal claimed that on the night of the alleged encounter, he was home with daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice after going out for pizza earlier in the day.

Prince Andrew also said that an alleged photo of himself with Giuffre might've been altered, as he has "absolutely no memory of that photograph ever being taken." He added that Giuffre's multiple allegations of sexual abuse "couldn't have happened," because he wasn't at the locations on the dates suggested by Giuffre.

And in an August 2019 statement, the Duke said he saw Epstein "infrequently," stating, "At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction."

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While Prince Andrew insists he's innocent of any wrongdoing, federal prosecutors have repeatedly stated that they wish to talk to him as part of their investigation into Epstein and Maxwell. In January 2020, federal prosecutors even issued a public statement requesting the royal's participation, saying in part, "If Prince Andrew is, in fact, serious about cooperating with the ongoing federal investigation, our doors remain open, and we await word of when we should expect him."

The Department of Justice's public statement followed the Prince's decision to step back from royal duties in November 2019, when the Duke of York was facing considerable backlash. "It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support," he wrote in a statement. "Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

He added that he continues to "unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein."

Epstein committed suicide in his New York jail cell in August 2019 while awaiting sex trafficking charges.

(This article was previously published August 9, 2021 at 6:33 p.m. PST).

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