Entertainment Celebrity Royal Andrew questions accuser’s abuse lawsuit

Andrew questions accuser’s abuse lawsuit

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew the Duke of York has deleted his Twitter account and YouTube channel. Photo: Getty
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A lawyer for Prince Andrew has questioned whether Virginia Giuffre is legally entitled to pursue her civil lawsuit accusing the Duke of York of sexually abusing her when she was under 18.

In a filing on Tuesday with the US District Court in Manhattan, lawyer Andrew Brettler said “recently discovered evidence” suggested the court lacked jurisdiction because Ms Giuffre has lived in Australia for most of the past two decades, and cannot prove she resided in Colorado as she stated in her complaint.

The prince’s filing came ahead of a scheduled January 4 hearing before US District Judge Lewis Kaplan on whether to dismiss Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit.

Lawyers for Ms Giuffre did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Ms Giuffre, 38, accused Andrew of forcing her to have sex more than two decades ago at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, the former associate of financier Jeffrey Epstein, and abusing her at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and the US Virgin Islands.

Andrew, 61, has denied Ms Giuffre’s claims, and accused her of trying to profit from accusations against Epstein and people who knew him. The prince has not been charged with crimes. Ms Giuffre is seeking unspecified damages.

Federal courts may assert “diversity jurisdiction” over lawsuits when no plaintiff shares a state of citizenship with any defendant.

Mr Brettler said Ms Giuffre failed this test because she has not lived in Colorado since at least 2019, and it was “long-established” that US citizens who permanently resided abroad cannot invoke diversity jurisdiction.

He also suggested that Ms Giuffre made a “calculated move to support her specious claim” of Colorado residency by registering to vote there, using her mother’s and stepfather’s mailing address, in February 2020.

“Without being able to satisfy the requirements for diversity jurisdiction, the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over this dispute and must dismiss the action as a matter of law,” Mr Brettler wrote.

Andrew wants to halt the gathering of evidence until the jurisdictional issue is resolved, and is seeking “limited” discovery to determine whether Ms Giuffre can sue him.