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Prince Andrew Sex Abuse Case to Include Deposition As His Options Dwindle

  • Prince Andrew is about to take a deposition earlier than the intercourse abuse case towards him heads to trial.
  • While he is denied Virginia Giuffre’s sexual assault allegations, the case’s discovery course of will trigger complications.
  • The prince has a slender window to settle Giuffre’s lawsuit, however an settlement is not assured.

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Prince Andrew is having a foul week.

On Wednesday, a federal choose dominated that Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s lawsuit towards the prince will transfer ahead. Giuffre desires to take the Duke of York to trial on allegations that he sexually abused her on a number of events as a part of a sex-trafficking scheme run by Jeffrey Epstein.

On Thursday, issues acquired worse: The royal household introduced that Prince Andrew can be stripped of navy titles and would defend himself “as a non-public citizen.”

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In statements to the media, the royal has strenuously denied wrongdoing and even stated he has no reminiscence of ever assembly Giuffre.

But US District Judge Lewis Kaplan’s resolution implies that Prince Andrew can have to defend himself in a deposition, which comes with the consequence of doable legal fees if he lies below oath.

The duke already agreed to take a deposition in London, David Boies, one among Giuffre’s attorneys, told the journalist Vicky Ward. Boies additionally stated Giuffre would take a deposition in Australia, the place she lives.

Depositions, that are usually video-recorded, are only one ingredient of the bigger discovery course of in civil lawsuits. Over the subsequent few months, legal professionals for Prince Andrew and Giuffre will hand over textual content messages, cellphone name logs, calendars, and some other proof that is perhaps utilized in a trial to decide whether or not the Duke of York sexually abused a teen whereas hanging out at properties belonging to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and convicted sex-trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.

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Kaplan has made clear that he desires to maintain a trial someday in fall 2022. Prince Andrew might simply gap up in his room in London till it is over, however Sarah Krissoff, a protection lawyer at Day Pitney and a former federal prosecutor, stated the royal not exhibiting up to his personal trial can be a giant mistake.

“If this finally ends up going to the trial, he’ll want to be seated on the desk and a part of this course of,” Krissoff instructed Insider, including: “For the legal professionals to most successfully symbolize their shopper, the collaboration between the lawyer and a shopper has to be fixed.”

Nightclub or pizza celebration?

Giuffre has maintained her allegations towards Prince Andrew for years, in depositions and media appearances, earlier than she lastly sued him in August 2021.

In the lawsuit, filed in federal courtroom in Manhattan, she alleged the royal compelled her to have intercourse with him towards her will within the early 2000s. The alleged abuse began when she was 17 and passed off at Epstein’s properties in New York and the US Virgin Islands, in addition to Maxwell’s home in London, in accordance to the lawsuit.

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Prince Andrew beforehand denied Giuffre’s allegations at size in a 2019 BBC News interview. He rejected one among Giuffre’s claims, that the 2 danced in London’s Tramp nightclub, on significantly outlandish grounds. The prince stated he remembered bringing his daughter, Princess Beatrice, to a pizza celebration on the time, and stated {that a} medical situation stemming from a traumatic expertise throughout the Balkans War made him bodily incapable of sweating — regardless of many photos showing Prince Andrew sweating in nightclubs.

virginia giuffre prince andrew ghislaine maxwell

Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre, then often known as Virginia Roberts, together with Ghislaine Maxwell. This photograph was included in an affidavit the place Giuffre claimed Prince Andrew directed her to have intercourse with him.

Florida Southern District Court

Those particular denials and the authorized filings addressing them supply a window into the fabric Giuffre will attempt to get throughout discovery. Her attorneys are likely to demand medical records, in addition to receive as a lot data as they’ll about Prince Andrew’s lengthy friendship with Epstein, who died in jail in 2019.

According to Krissoff, the monetary information Giuffre’s legal professionals can receive will assist pin down the place Prince Andrew was on sure dates. For instance, bank card information might show whether or not he swiped his card at a nightclub or a pizza parlor the night time of March 10, 2001, when Giuffre claims they danced collectively earlier than the prince sexually abused her. Travel information might assist decide whether or not the duke was in New York on the time of the alleged abuse.

Boies has said he desires to depose Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, in addition to and the duke’s ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson. The exact scope of discovery calls for between the events, together with who they’ll depose, will likely be topic to negotiation and courtroom approval. 

Giuffre and Prince Andrew have till July 14 to meet Kaplan’s deadline for depositions. That provides the duke a number of months to discover one other method: settling.

Prince Andrew’s most suitable choice is settling

While Kaplan’s ruling was a serious setback for Prince Andrew, it did not erase all his choices.

The choose rejected Prince Andrew’s argument {that a} 2009 settlement settlement between Giuffre and Epstein shielded the royal from civil legal responsibility. Kaplan mainly threw his fingers up within the air, writing that the language within the settlement’s launch was too ambiguous to say whether or not it utilized to the duke.

Prince Andrew nonetheless can attempt to collect extra element in regards to the settlement launch, presumably by convincing the choose to summon the legal professionals who drafted it. His legal professionals might additionally enchantment Kaplan’s ruling. Neither motion would definitively cease the case from hurtling towards a trial, and authorized challenges would not pause the invention course of, both. 

As each second of the invention course of threatens to reveal extra embarrassing particulars about his life, Prince Andrew’s most suitable choice is settling. 

Melania Trump, Prince Andrew, Gwendolyn Beck and Jeffrey Epstein at a party at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach

Melania Trump, Prince Andrew, Gwendolyn Beck and Jeffrey Epstein at a celebration on the Mar-a-Lago membership, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000.

Davidoff Studios/Getty Images

The deposition transcript and different proof Giuffre’s legal professionals collect would not be made public till a trial. And even at that time, Prince Andrew’s legal professionals might object to coming into them into the general public report. But Boies and his authorized accomplice Sigrid McCawley might nonetheless slip out particulars in different authorized filings and courtroom appearances within the interim. Prince Andrew is represented by the media-savvy lawyer Andrew Brettler, who’s nicely conscious of the dynamics at play (Brettler didn’t reply to a request for remark for this story).

“All of the counsel on this case are significantly vocal,” Krissoff stated. “They’re very comfortable to converse with the press and to current the case to the general public. To the extent that there’s data that they are in a position to share, they definitely might select to share that strategically.”

But would Giuffre settle for a settlement? In an interview with BBC News on Wednesday night, Boies stated that Prince Andrew’s crew rejected a “mediation” earlier than Giuffre filed her lawsuit. He additionally stated his shopper wasn’t simply within the royal’s cash. But he left the door open to some mutual settlement.

“I believe it is crucial to Virginia Giuffre that this matter be resolved in a means that vindicates her and vindicates different victims,” he stated. “I do not suppose she has a agency view at this level as to what an answer can be.”

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