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24 Sep, 2021 21:24

Prince Andrew finally acknowledges sex assault lawsuit from Epstein accuser after forcing servers to jump through legal hoops

Prince Andrew finally acknowledges sex assault lawsuit from Epstein accuser after forcing servers to jump through legal hoops

The Duke of York’s lawyers have finally acknowledged he has been served with Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s lawsuit alleging the British royal sexually assaulted her three times, having given process servers the runaround for weeks.

Lawyer Andrew Brettler acknowledged his client had been served with Giuffre’s suit as of Tuesday in a statement released on Friday in Los Angeles. The statement promised a response would be filed by October 29, but vacated an earlier oral argument schedule set by a New York federal court.

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US District Judge Lewis Kaplan had previously reprimanded Brettler for avoiding service of the lawsuit against the prince, noting that, while he had been successful in avoiding process servers on “technicalities” thus far, there were other ways to serve the suit than the “optional” Hague Convention, which Brettler had disputed.

However, Judge Kaplan noted he could order service under another US code allowing service upon a foreign national, called Federal Rule 4(f)(3) – and that he was willing to do so if the Duke of York’s lawyers continued to dodge the efforts of Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies, who made at least five efforts to serve him with legal papers. The former Epstein victim filed a suit against Prince Andrew in August, alleging sexual assault, battery, and emotional distress.

In addition to attempting to physically avoid process service through legal loopholes, the prince has fervently denied the substance of the charges, insisting he never met her, despite a well-known photograph that has circulated in the media depicting him with his arm around a 17-year-old Giuffre (Roberts, at that time) and alleged Epstein madam Ghislaine Maxwell in the background.

His bizarre alibis for the nights on which the two supposedly had their assignations ranged from taking his children out for pizza to being unable to sweat, and after the disastrous BBC interview in which he proffered those explanations, he largely retired from public life. A subsequent YouGov poll found that only 6% of those who watched the interview believed his denials. 

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Giuffre, like most of Epstein’s victims, has claimed it was Maxwell who recruited her as part of the now-deceased pedophile’s harem of teenage ‘sex slaves,’ to be flown around on private planes and lent out to his famous and influential friends, allegedly for blackmail purposes.

The FBI has also complained about Prince Andrew’s refusal to assist the agency in its investigation of the Epstein case, revealing last year that it had sought an interview with him, but received “zero cooperation.” The prince has denied this, insisting he had tried to assist, but the American authorities merely wanted “publicity” rather than evidence. US attorneys took a dim view of that claim, arguing he was falsely portraying himself as cooperative. 

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