An attorney for Prince Andrew’s accuser has asked a federal judge for help securing the testimony of the Duke of York’s former assistant and a woman who claims to have seen the embattled royal in a nightclub with a young woman.
An attorney for Virginia Giuffre (née Roberts), who claims that Andrew sexually assaulted her when she was 17 years old, asked that the judge send letters rogatory—formal requests for a foreign government’s assistance in obtaining testimony.
The development comes at the end of a brutal week for Prince Andrew, two days after losing his motion to dismiss Giuffre’s lawsuit and one day after Buckingham Palace stripped him of his military titles and charities in the wake of the scandal.
Giuffre wants the U.K. government to facilitate testimony from Prince Andrew’s ex-assistant Robert Olney and a woman named Shukri Walker, who previously told reporters that she witnessed Andrew dancing with Giuffre in London’s Tramp nightclub in 2001.
“Because Prince Andrew has denied ever meeting [Giuffre] or being at Tramp Nightclub during the relevant time period, Ms. Walker’s testimony is highly relevant,” Giuffre’s attorney Sigrid McCawley wrote on Friday.
As for Olney, Giuffre’s counsel argues that the ex-assistant may have “relevant information about Prince Andrew’s relationship with Jeffrey Epstein” because his name appears in the late sex offender’s so-called “Black Book,” according to the letter.
Giuffre’s legal team suspects that Olney may also have “relevant information about Prince Andrew’s travel to and from” Epstein’s properties, as well as the prince’s relationship with both Epstein and Epstein’s now-convicted accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell.
In her lawsuit, Giuffre accused the prince of sexually assaulting her in three locations: Epstein’s New York mansion and his private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Maxwell’s London home.
Giuffre’s legal team wants to secure both of their testimony by April 29 of this year—or as soon as possible after that date—either in person or via remote video-conference.
A key figure in the Epstein saga, Giuffre was instrumental in bringing the story to light. The public record in the case is paved with her many lawsuits over the years against Epstein, Maxwell, Prince Andrew, and attorney Alan Dershowitz, whose litigation with and countersuit against Giuffre remain active in the same court. Dershowitz has denied Giuffre’s allegations, called her a liar, and said that they never met.
Giuffre’s civil suit against Maxwell arguably sparked her criminal prosecution.
Though that case ended in a confidential settlement, the exposure of the largely sealed Giuffre v. Maxwell docket by the Miami Herald renewed global interest in the Epstein saga—including from federal prosecutors, who credited investigative journalism for their breakthrough. Giuffre’s legal team recently reaffirmed their effort to unseal more information from that case.
“Now that Maxwell’s criminal trial has come and gone, there is little reason to retain protection over the vast swaths of information about Epstein and Maxwell’s sex-trafficking operation that were originally filed under seal in this case,” they wrote on Wednesday.
On Friday, Dershowitz asked the judge presiding over his litigation with Giuffre and the open-records battle to allow him to question Carolyn Andriano, whose testimony resulted in Maxwell’s sex trafficking conviction.
Andriano testified only under her first name “Carolyn” before agreeing to go public in an interview with the Daily Mail, where she claimed Giuffre told her in 2001 she slept with Andrew.
Hoping to paint Giuffre as more of an active participant than a victim, Dershowitz wants to ask Andriano about her trial testimony that Giuffre recruited her to Epstein.
“Prof. Dershowitz is entitled to take discovery into matters concerning [Giuffre]’s reputation as a sex trafficking victim and advocate, and to prove other causes of her alleged reputational injury,” the Harvard Law School professor emeritus’s counsel Christian G. Kiely wrote on Friday.
Epstein and Maxwell ran what authorities described as a “Pyramid scheme” of sexual abuse, where minor girls would be recruited to provide Epstein with paid massages that escalated to assault. Those victims would then be given hundreds of dollars to find other girls for Epstein’s predation.
Giuffre, now a prominent advocate for sexual abuse victims, acknowledged she was part of that cycle and expressed regret for her role in finding other girls for Epstein.
Read the request for Prince Andrew witnesses, below:
[Photos: LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images (left); Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit (right)]
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