Prince Andrew must face sex abuse accuser’s lawsuit – U.S. judge


NEW YORK (Reuters) -Britain’s Prince Andrew failed to persuade a U. S. judge to dismiss Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit accusing the Duke of York of sexually abusing her when she was a teenager.

In a decision made public on Wednesday, U. S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said Giuffre could pursue claims that Andrew battered her and intentionally caused her emotional distress while the late financier Jeffrey Epstein was trafficking her.

The Manhattan judge said it was premature to assess Andrew’s efforts to “cast doubt” on those claims, though the 61-year-old prince could do so at a trial.

Kaplan said it was also too soon to decide whether Giuffre’s 2009 civil settlement with Epstein “clearly and unambiguously” shielded Andrew from being sued by Giuffre.

The judge did not address the merits of Giuffre’s claims.

Lawyers for Andrew and Giuffre did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth, has denied Giuffre’s accusations that he forced her to have sex more than two decades ago at a London home of former Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and abused her at two Epstein properties.

In the 2009 settlement, Epstein paid Giuffre $500,000, without admitting liability, to end her Florida lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was underage.

Kaplan’s decision keeps Giuffre’s case against Andrew on track for a trial that Kaplan has said could begin between September and December 2022 if no settlement is reached.

While the claims have not been proven and the prince is not accused of criminal wrongdoing, his ties to Epstein have damaged his reputation and cost him many royal duties…. (Read more)