A judge in the US has denied a motion from lawyers for the Duke of York to halt proceedings in a civil lawsuit against the Queen’s son while an issue of where his accuser lives is dealt with.
Earlier this week Andrew’s lawyers had called for the case against the royal in the US to be stopped because Virginia Giuffre is “actually domiciled in Australia”.
Ms Giuffre is suing Andrew for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
But Judge Lewis Kaplan, in a ruling in New York dated December 31, denied Andrew’s lawyers’ request, stating that Ms Giuffre’s legal team has previously received “at least one comprehensive request for documents relating to her domicile, to which responses are due, and have been promised, by January 14”.
The judge added that his ruling was being made “without determining the merit, or lack of merit” of an assertion by Ms Giuffre’s team that Andrew’s lawyers’ motion was “a transparent attempt to delay discovery into his own documents and testimony”.
A legal document the Duke of York’s lawyer believes will stop the civil sex lawsuit against the royal is expected to be unsealed and made public.
Andrew B Brettler, who represents the duke, had argued at a previous hearing that Virginia Giuffre, who is suing the Queen’s son for alleged sexual assault, had entered into a “settlement agreement” that would end her lawsuit.
The 2009 settlement agreement was reached between Ms Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, and Andrew’s former friend and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Mr Brettler had previously told the New York hearing the agreement “releases Prince Andrew and others from any purported liability arising from the claims Ms Giuffre asserted against Prince Andrew here”.
US District Judge Lewis A Kaplan, who is presiding over the civil case, is due to hold a video teleconference on Tuesday when a request by the duke’s legal team to dismiss the case will be heard.
Ms Giuffre is suing the Queen’s son for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
She is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the sum could be in the millions of dollars.
She claims she was trafficked by disgraced financier Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.
Andrew has denied all the allegations.
Judge Kaplan last week denied a motion from Andrew’s lawyers to halt the civil proceedings while the issue of where Ms Giuffre lives is dealt with.
Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and Andrew’s friend, faces the rest of her life in jail after she was convicted last week of helping to procure teenage girls for the disgraced financier to sexually abuse.