Prince Andrew has agreed to concede that his alleged victim Virginia Giuffre successfully served him with a lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was 17 years old, potentially ending what a U.S. judge recently signaled would have been a losing battle over a technicality.
In a joint stipulation released on Friday, the Duke of York and Giuffre would agree that service “shall be deemed effected” as of Sept. 21, one day after a court filing indicated that the prince was served through his U.S. lawyer Andrew B. Brettler.
During a hearing on Sept. 13, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan indicated that the prince would not successfully avoid the lawsuit by ducking court papers.
“Regardless of whether your client has been served effectively to date, you have a pretty high degree of certainty that he can be served sooner than later,” Kaplan told Brettler at the time.
“Let’s cut out all the technicalities and get to the substance,” the judge added.
Days after that hearing, Judge Kaplan authorized two alternative forms of service, allowing Giuffre’s legal team to send the lawsuit to Brettler and issuing so-called letters rogatory, a request for the assistance of foreign government — namely, the United Kingdom.
The judge scheduled a follow-up hearing on Oct. 13 to argue remaining issues regarding service, but both parties now agree that court date will no longer be necessary.
Judge Kaplan still must sign the proposed stipulation before it takes effect.
If he does, the prince agrees to file a response to Giuffre’s complaint by Oct. 29, and he likely will continue to argue that a U.S. court does not have jurisdiction to hear the case.
Filed on Aug. 9, Giuffre’s lawsuit accuses Prince Andrew of sexually assaulting her in three locations when she was a teenager. Two of those properties were owned by the now-deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein: his New York mansion and his private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The other, accused sex-trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell’s London home, is where the prince was pictured with his arm around Giuffre’s waist, in a photograph embedded in her lawsuit.
“During this encounter, Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew forced plaintiff, a child, to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will,” her complaint alleges.
Giuffre filed her complaint shortly before the window closed pursuant to the New York Child Victims Act, which suspended the statute of limitations in cases involving the alleged sexual abuse of minors.
The allegations against Prince Andrew first became public during Giuffre’s lawsuit against Maxwell, which ended in a confidential settlement that sealed much of the court record. A subsequent open-records battle spearheaded by the Miami Herald’s investigative reporter Julie K. Brown opened thousands of pages of that docket, including Maxwell’s depositions from that litigation that sparked her criminal prosecution for perjury.
Brown’s series “Perversion of Justice,” whose name the author used as the title for her book on Epstein, reportedly sparked Epstein and Maxwell’s prosecution. Epstein died in jail before he could be tried, but Maxwell is slated to stand trial in November.
Read the stipulation below:
(Screenshot from Giuffre’s lawsuit)
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]