Prince Andrew avoiding sexual assault lawsuit, accuser’s lawyer claims | Royal | News

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The senior member of the Royal Family faces allegations made by Virginia Giuffre, formally known as Virginia Roberts, who claims Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager. Ms Giufrre claims that she was forced by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the Duke on three separate occasions between 2000 and 2002 — while she was underage.

Andrew has always categorically denied her claims.

According to the lawyer for Ms Giufrre and documents obtained by ABC News, the Duke of York has refused multiple attempts to be served with notice of the lawsuit.

David Boies, chairman of New York City-based law firm Boies Schiller Flexner LLP which represents Ms Giuffre, said: “Process servers have shown up at his residence, and they have refused to take the summons and refused to let the process servers in to serve.”

The lawsuit, which alleges that Andrew sexually assaulted Ms Giuffre when she was under 18, was filed against him on August 10 under New York’s Child Victims Act.

The case, which has not been addressed by the royal or his legal team, will be heard via a telephone conference in New York.

Mr Boies told ABC News that he plans to inform the court on Monday that other measures have also been attempted, in addition to personally serving the papers to the prince at his residence.

Ms Giuffre’s lawyers are said to have “mailed the complaint, emailed several law firms believed to be associated with the prince, and sought the assistance of British court officials — under established protocols for serving foreign citizens with notice of a civil lawsuit in US courts.”

Their actions are ones the lawyers state “follow certain recognised procedures”, as they “don’t have to actually physically serve him with a subpoena”.

READ MORE: Prince Andrew makes second journey to Balmoral for stint with Queen

The methods used by Ms Giufrre’s legal team are being criticised by Andrew’s lawyer though, who called their actions “regrettable”.

They claim the methods led them to question whether Ms Giuffre has a valid legal claim against the prince, according to a letter obtained by ABC News.

The letter states“[Ms Giuffre’s lawyers] have made several public, indeed well-publicised, attempts at irregular service of these proceedings in this jurisdiction, in at least one case accompanied by a media representative.

“These have included attempted personal service of our client at his home, the instruction of a private process server, and attempts to email the proceedings not only to this firm, but to barristers (who are not authorised to conduct litigation) who are known to have acted for the Duke.

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“This is regrettable.”

The September 6 letter was sent to senior master Barbara Fontaine, a British judicial official, by Gary Bloxsome, a lawyer with UK law firm Blackfords LLP.

While Mr Bloxsome indicated in the letter that his law firm is not presently involved in the case, he nonetheless raised questions about the viability of her claims.

In response to the statement, Ms Giuffre’s legal team argued that the content of the UK letter is insignificant unless his lawyers appear in the case in New York.

Her legal team also claimed they were unable to issue the papers in person to the royal as “he has stopped coming out in public. He has been moving around”.

The 61-year-old Duke was spotted heading to Queen Elizabeth II’s Balmoral estate on Tuesday, September 7.

Images from the day show a black Range Rover departing Windsor’s Royal Lodge, where he lives with his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson before arriving a few hours later at his mother’s Scottish bolthole.

Andrew’s journey to the private estate this time around came as the sex abuse case is due to be heard on Monday in New York.

The journey marked the second instance in recent months where the royal has joined his mother at the estate.

The royal previously made the 500-mile journey from his Windsor abode in early August.

Images from the day show a black Range Rover departing Windsor’s Royal Lodge, where he lives with his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson before arriving a few hours later at his mother’s Scottish bolthole.

Andrew’s journey to the private estate this time around came as the sex abuse case is due to be heard on Monday in New York.

The journey marked the second instance in recent months where the royal has joined his mother at the estate.

The royal previously made the 500-mile journey from his Windsor abode in early August.





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