Lawyers for the Duke of York are seeking to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, with the royal saying he “unequivocally denies” sexually abusing or assaulting her.
Ms Giuffre has claimed she was trafficked by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the duke’s former friend, to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.
The allegations, which Andrew has repeatedly denied, have been labelled “false” in a document filed to a district court on Friday which added the duke’s “sullied reputation is only the latest collateral damage of the Epstein scandal”.
His team also hit back at Virginia Giuffre by claiming she carried out “wilful recruitment and trafficking of young girls for sexual abuse”.
His lawyers have filed court documents alleging she worked to procure underage “slutty girls” for Jeffrey Epstein.
They quote Crystal Figueroa, sister of one of Ms Giuffre’s exes, who claims: “She [Giuffre] would say, ‘Do you know any girls who are kind of slutty?’”
The court filing adds: “While lurid allegations are made against Prince Andrew by Giuffre, the only party to this claim whose conduct has involved the wilful recruitment and trafficking of young girls for sexual abuse is Giuffre herself.”
However, the Prince was slammed and accused of victim-shaming after claims she was simply after a ‘payday’ and was publicity-hungry.
He received a huge backlash from women’s groups after his 36-page motion to dismiss the civil suit in the US was released.
Karen Ingala Smith, chief executive of NIA, a London-based charity aimed at ending sexual and domestic violence against women, said: ‘His lack of empathy and contempt for the victim-survivors of sexual violence is deplorable.
‘It is grossly dishonest to claim on one hand that sexual violence is abhorrent and then on the other to brand those seeking legal redress as frivolous money grabbers.’
Epstein, a disgraced financier, died in a Brooklyn jail in 2019 as he was held on charges for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York.
The document, signed by lawyer Andrew Brettler, said: “Accusing a member of the world’s best known royal family of serious misconduct has helped Giuffre create a media frenzy online and in the traditional press.
“It is unfortunate, but undeniable, that sensationalism and innuendo have prevailed over the truth.
“Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him. Epstein’s abuse of Giuffre does not justify her public campaign against Prince Andrew.”
Ms Giuffre is suing the Queen’s son for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager and she is seeking unspecified damages.
The filing says Ms Giuffre settled sex trafficking and abuse claims against Epstein in 2009 with a “broad release” negotiated by the convicted sex offender “insisting that it cover any and all persons who Giuffre identified as potential targets of future lawsuits, regardless of the merit – or lack thereof – to any such claims”.
The agreement, which remains sealed, is said to cover “royalty” according to Friday’s filing, and therefore “the Court must dismiss her claims here in light of the plain language of the Release Agreement.”