Thursday, 11 Aug 2022

Prince Andrew’s ‘last ditch attempt’ to get civil sexual assault case thrown out

Prince Andrew could face 7-hour grilling in sex trial says expert

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The Duke of York has been stripped of his military titles and royal patronages, it was confirmed last night. Andrew will also no longer use the His Royal Highness style in an official capacity. He will defend his civil sexual assault case as a “private citizen”, Buckingham Palace said in a statement. The statement read: “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronage have been returned to the Queen.

“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”

The news comes after a judge ruled on Wednesday that civil action could proceed.

Judge Kaplan dismissed arguments made by Andrew’s lawyer Andrew Brettler in a recent court hearing, including another late bid to have the case dismissed.

Mr Brettler argued that a 2009 agreement between Virginia Roberts Giuffre ‒ Andrew’s accuser ‒ and the late Jeffrey Epstein, which states that any further case could not be brought against “potential defendants” meant Andrew was in the clear.

But Judge Kaplan ruled this was too vague.

Ms Giuffre claims Andrew sexually assualted her three times when she was 17 and an alleged sex trafficking victims of Epstein, an accusation which the Duke vehemently denies.

Andrew has consistently said he has no memory of ever meeting Ms Giuffre in 2001.

Pod Save The Queen is hosted by Zoe Forsey and Daily Mirror royal editor Russell Myers.

In yesterday’s episode of the podcast, they discussed the judge’s rulings.

Mr Myers said the prospect of a trial seems “extraordinary” given all the events of the last two years.

After reading out some of the judge’s ruling, Mr Myers said Andrew has “seemingly run out of road”.

However, he added that Andrew’s team will pursue a “final, final last ditch attempt to have this thrown out”.

This centres on a domicile argument.

Mr Myers explained that, under US federal law, there cannot be two sides that do not treat the US as their permanent home.

Ms Guiffre, an American citizen, has lived in Australia since 2002, while Prince Andrew is a British citizen and resides in the UK.

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Mr Myers said: “When this was raised to Judge Kaplan beforehand, he gave it a rather short shrift and moved it on very, very swiftly as he has done with a lot of the arguments that he hasn’t taken too kindly to from Andrew’s legal team.

“Whether they have a chance of getting this again back in front of him or through an appeal process, it remains to be seen.

“But I think all the legal experts are pointing to the fact that he really has run out of road with his arguments now.”

Mr Myers argued Andrew facing trial would be a “very unlikely event”.

He explained: “When you look at the evidence, it’s a fact that around 97 to 99 percent of these litigation cases in the United States do get settled before trial.

“That is what Prince Andrew will be hoping for now. However, both sides need to come to an agreement.”

Ms Guiffre has always maintained that she is not pursuing this case for the money, instead wishing to hold the rich and powerful to account.

Mr Myers said: “She is fighting this fight, not only for herself but for other women who have been abused, not only by Epstein, not only allegedly by Ghislaine Maxwell, but women who have been abused in a wider sense as well.”

He said sources within Andrew’s camp have suggested that while a multi-million pound settlement with Ms Guiffre remains an option, it “isn’t being discussed at the moment”.

Ms Guiffre’s lawyer, David Boies, told BBC’s Newsnight earlier this week that his client does not have a “firm view” as to what the resolution should be.

He did, however, admit that a “purely financial settlement” seems unlikely.

The latest revelations, Mr Myers said, will be the “absolute worst nightmare” for members of the Royal Family in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.

He added: “Things have gone from very, very bad to horrendous for Prince Andrew right about now.”

His three options from here are a successful appeal, a settlement or a full trial.

Discussing the options available to the Duke of York, Mr Myers said: “Don’t bet against anything at this stage.”

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