Prince Andrew civil sex case moving to trial after judge dismisses appeal
The Duke of York's legal team had appealed that the case should be thrown out based on an Non Disclosure Agreement his accuser signed with Jeffrey Epstein
Prince Andrew will face a civil sex case trial after a US judge dismissed a motion by Andrew’s legal team to have the lawsuit thrown out.
The Duke of York is being sued by Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, who claims he "committed sexual assault and battery" upon her when she was a teenager.
Outlining his reasons for denying the Duke of York’s motion to dismiss the civil case against him, Judge Lewis Kaplan said an agreement in the civil settlement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre “cannot be said” to benefit him.
In his ruling, he said: “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 existence of the requisite intent to benefit him, or others comparable to him, is an issue of fact that could not properly be decided on this motion even if defendant fell within the releasing language, which itself is ambiguous.
“Thus, independent of whether the release language applies to Prince Andrew, the agreement, at a minimum, is ‘reasonably susceptible to more than one interpretation’ on the equally important question of whether this defendant may invoke it.”
Continuing to outline his reasons to deny a motion to dismiss the civil case against the Duke of York, Judge Lewis Kaplan said: “Ms (Virginia) Giuffre’s complaint is neither ‘unintelligible’ nor ‘vague’ nor ‘ambiguous’.
“It alleges discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances at three identifiable locations. It identifies to whom it attributes that sexual abuse.
“Defendant nevertheless holds out that he cannot reasonably prepare a response because plaintiff has not described ‘what purported sexual contact occurred… when and where the incident occurred, or the forcible compulsion she was under due to express or implied threat’ to the degree of specificity he would like.
“While he understandably seeks more detail about the precise details of plaintiff’s claims, he will be able to obtain that detail during pretrial discovery.
“Moreover, defendant’s assertion that he cannot reasonably prepare a response to plaintiff’s allegations plainly contradicts the content of his moving papers, in which he denies Ms Giuffre’s allegations in no uncertain terms.”