Prince Andrew’s lawyer describes the case in which he is accused...

  • You were George
  • BBC

14 Sep 2021 10:42 GMT

picture released, VIRGINIA ROBERTS

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Virginia Joffrey, or Roberts as she was known at the time, poses with Prince Andrew in London in 2001.

The Duke of York’s lawyer, Prince Andrew, described the sexual assault accusations in a US court filing against his client as “unfounded, unverifiable and potentially illegal”.

Attorney Andrew Brettler told a pretrial conference call in New York that a 2009 settlement between Virginia Joffrey and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein absolved the duke of “any responsibility”.

He also said that the Duke had not been duly notified of the proceedings.

Prince Andrew has consistently denied Joffrey’s allegations.

Breitler – a Los Angeles-based attorney who promotes him as a specialist in “media and entertainment litigation” – requested a copy of the agreement signed in 2009, which is not publicly available.

“There was a settlement agreement in which Plaintiff (Joffrey) was a party to a previous suit, which relieved the Duke and other persons of any and all potential liabilities,” Breitler said.

During the conference call on Monday, Breitler denied that Prince Andrew had duly handed over the legal documents, a process known in US law as “service”, which means the official delivery of lawsuit documents.

Breitler went on to say that it was up to the High Court in London to decide whether the documents had been properly delivered, but Judge Lewis Kaplan disagreed.

Judge Kaplan told Joffrey’s lawyer, David Boyce, he had a week to find an alternative way to get the legal documents to the duke in the UK.

The judge said the next meeting in the case will be on October 13.

Joffrey, now 38, was one of the girls accused of Epstein, the billionaire who was convicted of sex crimes and died in prison in 2019, and she claims she was sexually assaulted by the prince in three locations, including New York City.

Geoffrey, then known as Virginia Roberts, says she was assaulted at the home of Epstein’s partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, in London, and at the homes of Epstein in Manhattan and Little St. James in the US Virgin Islands.

Her lawsuit alleges that Prince Andrew, 61, engaged in sexual acts without Joffrey’s consent, including when she was 17, and he knows how old she was, and that she “was a victim of sex trafficking”.

The prince, who is the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, has consistently denied the allegations, telling BBC Twos Newsnight in 2019: “It didn’t happen. I can tell you categorically that it didn’t. I don’t remember ever meeting this lady. in any way whatsoever.”

Joffrey’s lawyers claimed the documents were left with a police officer at the gates of Prince Andrew’s home in Windsor last month – meaning the documents were successfully “delivered”.

It is reported that the Duke does not face the prospect of an extradition hearing (to be tried in the United States) as this only applies to criminal charges and not to civil cases.

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