In a formal answer to the lady who is suing him in the United States for sexual assault, Prince Andrew denied being a close acquaintance of convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.
The prince’s lawyers also allege that he intends to challenge Virginia Giuffre’s claim in front of a jury.
The Duke of York has always disputed all of the accusations leveled against him.
Ms Giuffre claims he assaulted her when she was 17 at the homes of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein and Maxwell.
However, Prince Andrew’s legal team cites a variety of reasons why her civil action should be rejected in an 11-page court brief submitted on Wednesday.
The issue of consent is one element they ask the court to consider.
“Assuming, without admitting, that Giuffre has incurred any loss or damage asserted in the complaint, Giuffre’s claims are precluded by the doctrine of consent,” according to the paper.
According to the memo, Prince Andrew “admits that he met Epstein in or around 1999,” but denies any wrongdoing with the late financier.
His lawyers argue they don’t have enough information to confirm or deny the existence of an image of the prince with his arm around Ms Giuffre with Maxwell in the background.
Ms Guiffre’s claim that Prince Andrew was a close friend of Maxwell is “denied” elsewhere in the text.
“Prince Andrew hereby seeks a trial by jury on all causes of action alleged in the complaint,” his lawyers write to a US judge.
This demand, according to US lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents a number of Maxwell and Epstein accusers, is a “public relations ploy,” given Ms Giuffre had already requested a jury trial.
Ms Giuffre’s constitutional right to a jury trial if she requested for one, she added, rendered Prince Andrew’s request “meaningless.”
Prince Andrew has demonstrated that he is willing to battle this in court, vehemently refuting all of the allegations leveled against him.
Even the notorious portrait of Virginia Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell has been questioned.
Prince Andrew’s legal answer is, “Prince Andrew lacks adequate knowledge to admit or refute the accusation that photographic evidence of his supposed meeting with Giuffre exists.”
His legal team is standing firm, denying any misconduct and questioning the legitimacy of the allegations leveled against him.
As a private citizen, Prince Andrew is now challenging the lawsuit, paving the path for a high-profile trial in the autumn.
However, such storm clouds looming over the Platinum Jubilee year will not be welcomed by Buckingham Palace.
Even though both sides will be exercising their legal muscles and talking tough, discussions for a settlement are not out of the question.
If that doesn’t happen, Prince Andrew has demonstrated that he’s willing to take his case to a New York jury.
In the filings, Prince Andrew’s attorneys also claim that because Ms Giuffre is a permanent resident of Australia, she has no legal basis to launch the action.
They also include a 2009 settlement between Ms Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein, a longstanding Prince Andrew associate.
While awaiting a sex trafficking prosecution, Epstein, a convicted sex offender, committed suicide in jail in 2019. Last month, British socialite Maxwell was convicted guilty of grooming teenage females to abuse.
Ms Giuffre accuses the Queen’s son of sexually assaulting her while she was a child in London, New York, and the Virgin Islands.
She is seeking specific monetary damages, although it is expected to be in the millions of dollars.
A judge had already determined that the case could proceed.
Prince Andrew’s military titles and patronages were later revoked by Buckingham Palace, and he announced that he would pursue the issue as a private citizen.
“Prince Andrew, Duke of York aka Andrew Albert Christian Edward, in his personal capacity,” according to the latest court documents, refers to the Queen’s second son.
Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, said in a statement that his client and legal team are “looking forward to confronting Prince Andrew with his denials and attempts to blame Ms Giuffre for her own abuse at his deposition and at trial.”