Prince Andrew Mounts Attack Against Woman Who Accused Him of Sexual Abuse
Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, said the woman was seeking financial gain from one of the world’s best known royal families.
Lawyers for Prince Andrew on Friday issued a blistering attack on a woman who has accused him in a lawsuit of sexually abusing her when she was still a minor and he was a guest of Jeffrey Epstein.
The lawyers for Andrew, 61, denied in a new court filing in Manhattan that their client, who is also known as the Duke of York, had ever sexually abused or assaulted the woman, Virginia Giuffre, who has been one of Mr. Epstein’s most prominent accusers.
Andrew’s lawyers argued in the court papers that Ms. Giuffre’s lawsuit was part of an effort by her over more than a decade to profit from allegations she had made against Mr. Epstein and others. Andrew’s lawyers claimed that Ms. Giuffre had sold articles and photographs to the news media and entered into secret agreements to resolve her abuse claims.
“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,” Andrew’s lawyers wrote. “Most people could only dream of obtaining the sums of money that Giuffre has secured for herself over the years.”
The lawyers added that “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.”
Andrew’s lawyers issued their attack on Ms. Giuffre as part of a brief asking the judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, to dismiss her lawsuit, which was filed in August in Federal District Court.
In the lawsuit, Ms. Giuffre, 38, claimed that Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, sexually abused her when she was under 18 on Mr. Epstein’s private island, Little St. James, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and at his mansion in Manhattan.
She also accused Andrew, along with Mr. Epstein and his longtime companion, Ghislaine Maxwell, of forcing her to have sexual intercourse with Andrew at Ms. Maxwell’s home in London.
Ms. Maxwell was arrested in July 2020, and has been detained on charges she helped Mr. Epstein recruit, groom and sexually abuse underage girls. An indictment also accused Ms. Maxwell of involvement in the sex trafficking of a 14-year-old girl, saying that she groomed the girl to engage in sexual acts with Mr. Epstein and later paid her.
Ms. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In their request to have the suit dismissed, Andrew’s lawyers also argued that Ms. Giuffre’s claims were barred under terms of a 2009 settlement release reached in a lawsuit she had filed against Mr. Epstein in Florida.
David Boies, a lawyer for Ms. Giuffre, said in a statement that Andrew’s motion to dismiss “fails to confront the serious allegations” in Ms. Giuffre’s suit.
Mr. Boies said that Andrew’s “attempted reliance on an irrelevant 13-year-old release, to which he is not a party, and which he did not even know about until recently, is just another in a series of attempts to avoid facing the merits of the serious charges against him.”
As the court battle over Ms. Giuffre’s lawsuit against Prince Andrew escalated on Friday, dueling legal papers were filed by federal prosecutors and lawyers for Ms. Maxwell in her case before a different judge, Alison J. Nathan, in the same federal court in Manhattan. Ms. Maxwell’s trial is scheduled to be begin there on Nov. 29.
The prosecutors asked that some of Ms. Maxwell’s accusers be allowed to testify using pseudonyms or first names, citing concerns about publicity, harassment and the risk of “significant embarrassment, anxiety and social stigma.” Ms. Maxwell’s lawyers argued in their motion that this would create unnecessary confusion and prejudice the jury against Ms. Maxwell.
Federal prosecutors also revealed that the four women described as victims in the indictment would testify at trial, in “explicit detail,” about sexual abuse that took place before they were 18 years old, and about how they were recruited by — and in turn recruited — other victims who were minors.
Ms. Maxwell’s lawyers also asked Judge Nathan to allow them to present evidence and arguments about prior investigations into Mr. Epstein and how they were resolved, including an investigation by federal prosecutors in Florida that resulted in a 2007 non-prosecution agreement for Mr. Epstein and several of his associates.
But prosecutors, in a response filed on Friday, asked Judge Nathan to prevent the defense from scrutinizing the roots of the federal investigations in both New York and Florida, saying it would be an improper effort to cast doubt on the government’s motives and credibility.
“The defense would like to (inaccurately) argue that the New York investigation was opened in response to the non-prosecution agreement,” and that the government rushed to investigate Ms. Maxwell after Mr. Epstein’s 2019 death and led a “sloppy investigation” because of public pressure, prosecutors wrote in a response to the defense’s motion also filed Friday.
Sheelagh McNeill contributed research.
Benjamin Weiser is a reporter covering the Manhattan federal courts. He has long covered criminal justice, both as a beat and investigative reporter. Before joining The Times in 1997, he worked at The Washington Post. @BenWeiserNYT