Prince Andrew he has acknowledged through his lawyer that an American woman has served him a lawsuit claiming that he sexually assaulted her.
The recognition was confirmed in a joint agreement signed by a lawyer for the British prince. It was approved by a federal judge in Manhattan and entered the public court record on Tuesday.
Court documents said the 61-year-old man had been contesting the acceptance of the lawsuit until lawyers spoke by phone on September 21. An agreement was signed three days later, according to the order signed by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.
In the lawsuit, Virginia Giuffre claims that Andrew abused her multiple times in 2001 when she was under 18 years of age. His attorney has called the allegations “unfounded.”
Filing a lawsuit with a defendant is often routine, but it can be more complicated when the defendant resides outside of the United States.
A judge must be satisfied that the accused has been duly notified of the allegations and has a reasonable period of time to respond to them. The prince must file responses to the claims in the lawsuit before October 29. A conference was scheduled for November 3.
Lawyers for the 38-year-old Giuffre had told the judge that they had turned the lawsuit over to royalty in many ways, though never directly into their hands. At one point, Britain’s high court accepted a request from Giuffre’s lawyers to formally contact Andrew about the lawsuit.
Los Angeles attorney Andrew Brettler, who signed the documents on Andrew’s behalf acknowledging that the prince was aware of the lawsuit, had argued at a hearing this month that Giuffre’s claim was “unfounded, unworkable and potentially illegal.”
Brettler has said that Andrew cannot be sued because a previous lawsuit in the United States that was settled “absolved our client of all liability.” However, that 2009 conciliation document remains sealed.
Giuffre’s attorneys previously filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court, where Jeffrey Epstein he was criminally charged with sex trafficking a month before committing suicide at age 66 in August 2019. At the time, the American financier was in an adjacent federal jail where he was ordered to await trial.
Giuffre previously made waves when she went public with her allegations against the Duke of York, claiming she was abused by British royalty when she was under 18, including at Epstein’s Manhattan home. He has repeatedly made his accusations against Epstein, his ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and Andrew, but the lawsuit was the first time he had directly confronted the queen’s son in such a formal setting.
The case alleges that Andrew engaged in sexual acts without his consent, knowing how old he was and “that he was a victim of sex trafficking,” the BBC reported. The case noted that “extreme and scandalous conduct” continues to cause Giuffre “great anguish and emotional and psychological damage.”
“In this country no person, whether president or prince, is above the law, and no person, no matter how powerless or vulnerable, can be deprived of the protection of the law,” the documents read, according to what is quoted in the middle.
“Twenty years ago, the wealth, power, position and connections of Prince Andrew allowed him to abuse a frightened and vulnerable girl with no one to protect her,” the documents continue. “It is time for him to be held accountable.”
In a statement sent to Fox News, Giuffre said he wanted to hold Andrew accountable.
“Today my attorney filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew for sexual abuse under the Child Victims Act,” Giuffre wrote. “As detailed in the lawsuit, I was trafficked with him and sexually abused by him.”
“I am holding Prince Andrew responsible for what he did to me,” she shared. “The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held accountable for their actions. I hope that other victims see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to recover life by speaking out and demanding justice.”
“I did not make this decision lightly,” Giuffre continued. “As a mother and wife, my family comes first, and I know that this action will subject me to further attacks from Prince Andrew and his surrogates, but I knew that if I did not continue with this action, I would let them and the victims everywhere down “.
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. The Palace has previously denied the allegations.
“It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any kind of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts,” they have told Fox News. “Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
The statement continued: “The Duke of York unequivocally regrets his misjudged association with Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein’s suicide left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims. The Duke deeply sympathizes with those affected who want some kind of closure. It is his hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives.The Duke is willing to assist any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations if necessary.
“The Duke has already stated that he did not see, witness or suspect any behavior of the kind that subsequently led to the arrest and conviction of Jeffrey Epstein. He deplores the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in or encourage any such behavior.”
In late 2019, Andrew told BBC Newsnight that he never had sex with Giuffre, who was known as Virginia Roberts at the time.
“It didn’t happen,” he emphasized.
Andrew also alleged that he “did not recall” meeting her and told an interviewer that there are “several things that are wrong” in Giuffre’s account, which alleges that the encounter occurred in 2001.
“I can tell you absolutely categorically that it never happened,” Andrew said.
The interview was widely criticized by critics who said Andrew seemed insensitive to Epstein’s victims. Subsequently, the prince departed from royal duties and has tried to keep a low profile.
Associated Press contributed to this report.