The Duke of York has demanded a trial by jury in the civil sexual assault case brought against him by Virginia Giuffre.
Legal experts had predicted Andrew would seek a settlement after the Queen stripped him of his military roles, widely seen as the monarchy distancing itself from any potentially damaging developments.
But Andrew has taken the dramatic decision to face his accuser in court and become the first member of the modern royal family to submit to being cross examined over serious allegations.
David Boies, who is representing Giuffre in her lawsuit against Andrew, said his client and legal team were looking forward to “confronting” the royal about his “denials”.
Threatening the monarchy
Media lawyer Mark Stephens said the trial, and the legal proceedings before it, will overshadow the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and threaten the existence of the monarchy by sparking a “debate about the relevancy and appropriateness of the royal family”.
The duke submitted 11 reasons why the case should be dismissed, including that Giuffre’s claims are “barred by the doctrine of consent” and by “her own wrongful conduct”.
In the court document, which communicated his reasons for requesting a dismissal of the case, Andrew’s lawyers concluded: “Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint.”
Giuffre is suing the duke for damages in her home country of the US, claiming she was trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew’s friend and a convicted sex offender, to have sex with the royal when she was 17, a minor under US law, at the London home of disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell in the early 2000s.
The duke is also alleged to have sexually abused Giuffre during a visit to Epstein’s private island, Little St James, and on a separate occasion at the financier’s Manhattan mansion.
Andrew has strenuously denied all allegations.
‘Confronting Prince Andrew’
In a statement, Boies said: “Prince Andrew’s answer continues his approach of denying any knowledge or information concerning the claims against him, and purporting to blame the victim of the abuse for somehow bringing it on herself.
“We look forward to confronting Prince Andrew with his denials and attempts to blame Giuffre for her own abuse at his deposition and at trial.”
Judge Lewis A Kaplan previously denied the duke’s application to dismiss the case.
The judge’s decision was a huge blow for Andrew, whose lawyer argued earlier this month the case should be thrown out as Giuffre had waived her right to pursue the duke by signing a confidential settlement with disgraced financier Epstein in 2009.
The latest court document, which details all 11 reasons why the duke’s lawyers believed the case should be dismissed, reiterated the position on the 2009 agreement which was that Giuffre “waived the claims now asserted in the complaint”.
Another factor the duke’s legal team asked the court to consider was the issue of consent.
The document reads: “Assuming, without admitting, that Giuffre has suffered any injury or damage alleged in the complaint, Giuffre’s claims are barred by the doctrine of consent.”
The duke also claimed the case should be “barred in whole or in part by her own wrongful conduct”.
Andrew’s lawyers also asserted that Giuffre should not be able to proceed because her claim for damages is “too speculative to be recovered at law”.
This appears to show the duke claiming Giuffre’s allegations cannot be proved with reasonable certainty, which would leave jurors speculating as to the actual damages suffered.
‘Overshadow the Platinum Jubilee’
The document also argues that the claims should be dismissed because Giuffre is a permanent resident of Australia.
In the 11-page document, Andrew denied being a close friend of Maxwell or being a frequent guest at Epstein’s homes.
The duke has also denied that he refused to cooperate with US authorities in their investigation and prosecution of Epstein.
Andrew’s lawyers have also stated he did not throw Maxwell a birthday party at Sandringham, and “lacked sufficient information to admit or deny” inviting Epstein to his daughter’s 18th birthday party a month after the financier became a convicted sex offender.
Stephens said any trial could have far-reaching consequences for the monarchy: “I can’t conceive that the royal family will allow him to run this case and overshadow the Platinum Jubilee.
“It’s going to spark a debate about the relevancy and appropriateness of the royal family and we’ve already seen that they moved very fast to strip him of his titles and that debate abated, but the more detail that comes out the more there’s going to be a problem for the wider royal family.”