Prince Andrew plans to challenge a US court’s jurisdiction over a civil lawsuit by a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting and battering her two decades ago, according to court papers.
In papers filed with the US District Court in Manhattan on Tuesday morning (Australian time), a lawyer for the Duke of York said the prince also planned to contest that he was properly served with the lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, who has said she was also abused by the financier Jeffrey Epstein.
According to court documents, the prince must answer by September 17 – with lawyers warning “if you fail to respond, judgment by default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint”.
Andrew, 61, is the Queen’s second son and one of the most prominent people linked to Epstein.
US prosecutors charged Epstein in July 2019 with sexually exploiting dozens of girls and women. A registered sex offender, he killed himself at age 66 in a Manhattan jail on August 10, 2019.
Ms Giuffre – who is sometimes known by her married name of Roberts – has accused Andrew of forcing her in 2001, when she was 17, to have unwanted sexual intercourse at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and Epstein’s long-time associate.
Ms Giuffre also said Andrew abused her at Epstein’s mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and on a private island Epstein owned in the US Virgin Islands.
Andrew has denied the claims of sexual abuse.
“It didn’t happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” he told BBC Two’s Newsnight in 2019.
The BBC reports that newly filed documents show the prince will be represented by lawyer Andrew Brettler, of Los Angeles law firm Lavely & Singer.
Mr Brettler was named in the Hollywood Reporter’s 2019 Power Lawyers list and specialises in “media and entertainment litigation”, according to the firm’s website.