The Duke of York will face a civil sex case trial after a US judge dismissed a motion by his legal team to have the lawsuit thrown out.
His lawyers had attempted to get the case thrown out of court after they argued that Ms Giuffre had signed a deal with convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, in 2009.
At a glance: 5 key points
- Prince Andrew is set to face trial for the alleged sexual assault of then 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre in 2001
- The trial was confirmed by a New York court after The Duke of York’s lawyer’s attempted to get Ms Giuffre’s claims thrown out of court
- Lawyers had claimed that a deal which Ms Giuffre signed with convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, in 2009 had voided her attempt to take Prince Andrew to trial
- However, Judge Lewis A Kaplan has ruled that she will be able to bring a civil case against the royal despite the signed deal
- Prince Andrew maintains his innocence in the situation
What is Prince Andrew accused of?
Ms Giuffre has accused the Duke of York of sexually assaulting her in 2001, when she was just 17-years-old.
She also claims that she had been trafficked to the royal by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The Prince has been adamant in his denial of the claims, branding her claims “baseless”.
Despite this however, questions have surrounded the Prince as to his friendship with Epstein, who Ms Giuffre signed a 2009 deal with.
The deal stated that Ms Giuffre received £370,000 ($500,000) if she agreed to “release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge” Epstein and “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant”, which she had agreed to.
Andrew B Brettler, a lawyer representing Prince Andrew, had claimed that the royal would fall under the category of “potential defendant”, asking that the potential case be dismissed as a result.
However, Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, claimed that the “potential defendant” only covered Epstein, recently convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, and their associates.
He claimed that Prince Andrew was a “third party” in the situation, adding: “He was somebody to whom the girls were trafficked – that’s a different criteria.”
What did the judge say about the trial?
Judge Kaplan dealt a blow to Prince Andrew’s hopes that the case would be thrown out in a ruling given in New York today (12 January).
The judge said: “For the foregoing reasons, defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint or for a more definite statement is denied in all respects.
“The 2009 Agreement cannot be said to demonstrate, clearly and unambiguously, the parties intended the instrument ‘directly,’ ‘primarily,’ or ‘substantially,’ to benefit Prince Andrew.
“The law prohibits the Court from considering at this stage of the proceedings defendant’s efforts to cast doubt on the truth of Ms Giuffre’s allegations, even though his efforts would be permissible at trial.
“In a similar vein and for similar reasons, it is not open to the Court now to decide, as a matter of fact, just what the parties to the release in the 2009 settlement agreement signed by Ms Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein actually meant.”
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