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Prince Andrew Suffers Setback in Bid to Keep away from Epstein Accuser’s Lawsuit

LONDON — Britain’s Excessive Court docket agreed on Wednesday to intervene in a sexual assault lawsuit towards Prince Andrew, clearing the way in which for him to reply a legal claim in the USA that he sexually abused a minor whereas a visitor of Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, has denied the allegations, and his American lawyer contended on Monday that the lawsuit, introduced by Virginia Giuffre, was “baseless, nonviable and doubtlessly illegal.” The lawyer, Andrew B. Brettler, additionally argued that authorized papers had not been correctly served on his consumer in Britain.

The Excessive Court docket, which stated it was responding to info offered by Ms. Giuffre’s attorneys, agreed to serve the papers on Andrew if the 2 events didn’t work out a method to take action. Andrew has been visiting the queen at Balmoral Fortress in Scotland, making that course of extra sophisticated.

The allegations towards Andrew, 61, generally known as the Duke of York, have led to his exile from official duties and have forged a shadow over the royal household. Royal watchers stated the household was bracing itself for damaging disclosures in each the Giuffre lawsuit and a forthcoming trial of Mr. Epstein’s longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell.

Mr. Epstein, a intercourse offender and a outstanding financier, killed himself in jail in 2019 whereas awaiting trial on intercourse trafficking expenses.

The prince’s attorneys in Britain had no touch upon the Excessive Court docket’s ruling, and Mr. Brettler didn’t reply to an electronic mail searching for remark.

Ms. Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, stated that the lawsuit was now more likely to transfer alongside extra rapidly and that it was inevitable Andrew must reply Ms. Giuffre’s declare in New York.

“Additional delaying ways I don’t assume will serve him properly,” Mr. Boies stated in an interview, including that even when the prince managed to delay the case for a month or two, it will not assist him and would solely focus extra consideration on the matter.

“Refusing to simply accept service, ducking service, hiding within the palace simply makes him look dangerous,” Mr. Boies stated. “I don’t perceive form of what playbook they’re utilizing.”

In her lawsuit, Ms. Giuffre, 38, claimed that Andrew sexually abused her at Mr. Epstein’s mansion in New York and on Mr. Epstein’s personal island, Little St. James, within the U.S. Virgin Islands. Ms. Giuffre additionally stated within the go well with that Andrew, together with Mr. Epstein and Ms. Maxwell, compelled her to have sexual activity with the prince in Ms. Maxwell’s residence in London.

Mr. Epstein, 66, who was arrested in July 2019, was found dead by hanging a month later in his jail cell in Manhattan; the loss of life was dominated a suicide. Federal prosecutors have accused him of recruiting dozens of underage ladies to interact in intercourse acts with him at his Manhattan mansion and his Palm Seaside property, and paying them hundred of {dollars} in money afterward.

Ms. Maxwell, who was arrested in July 2020, faces trial in November on expenses that she helped Mr. Epstein recruit, groom and sexually abuse underage ladies. In a single case, she has been charged with intercourse trafficking a 14-year-old woman.

Andrew has not been charged with any crimes.

Mr. Brettler, the prince’s U.S.-based lawyer, argued on Monday earlier than a federal choose in Manhattan that his consumer had not been correctly served with authorized papers in Britain and that Ms. Giuffre’s lawsuit would possibly in any case be invalid below the phrases of an earlier confidential settlement that they stated she had reached with Jeffrey Epstein.

“Now we have vital issues in regards to the propriety of this lawsuit,” Mr. Brettler advised Decide Lewis A. Kaplan of Federal District Court docket in Manhattan.

Decide Kaplan, nonetheless, stated there was “a reasonably excessive diploma of certainty that he could be served eventually” and advised the events transfer on to the substance of the case.

Mark Landler reported from London, and Benjamin Weiser from New York. Susan C. Beachy contributed analysis.

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