Prince Andrew, Duke of York, has been sued for sexual assault by one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers, according to records in New York Federal Court.
Andrew is being sued in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York by Virginia Giuffre, 38, who claims the Duke sexually abused her multiple times in New York, London, and Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands between 2000 and 2002 when she was under 18 years old.
The Duke has repeatedly denied having had sex with Giuffre, most notably in a disastrous November 2019 BBC interview where he tried to defend himself and claimed never to have met her. Shortly after the interview aired, Andrew announced that he was “stepping down” from royal public duties.
The affidavit filed on Friday stated that a member of Andrew’s security team was officially informed of the lawsuit against him on August 27 at his home, the Royal Lodge on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
In the affidavit, Cesar Augusto Sepulveda said it took him two days to deliver the documents because Andrew’s security team was there on his first attempt on the 26th to serve a trial on the property. “
When he returned the next day, Sepulveda met with Andrew’s chief security officer, who told him he could leave the documents with one of the guards at the Royal Lodge and that they would be forwarded to the Duke’s legal department. The chief of security refused to serve Sepulveda personally.
The documents list London criminal defense attorney Gary Bloxsome as the Duke’s attorney. BuzzFeed News reached out to Bloxsome for comment on the affidavit and the document’s allegation that its security team had been ordered not to receive court documents. He didn’t answer.
However, according to ABC News, Bloxsome reportedly questioned the legality of the service and called the actions of Giuffre’s legal team “unfortunate” in a letter received from the network. In the document sent by Bloxsome to UK Attorney General Barbara Fontaine on September 6, according to ABC News, the attorney alleged that the manner in which the lawsuit was served invalidated service under British law.
“Unless there is a very valid reason to do so, it is very unlikely that our client would be willing to consent to any form of alternative service, while the approach to service of this process remains erratic and the viability of the claim remains in doubt,” Bloxsome reportedly wrote .
The first preliminary negotiation will take place on Monday virtually by telephone. It is unclear whether attorneys representing Andrew will attend as no documents have been filed in federal court in his defense.
Giuffre was one of many women who accused Andrew’s longtime associate, Epstein, of sexually abusing minors.
Epstein, a prominent financier, killed himself in federal prison on Aug. 10, 2019 when he was charged with the sexual trafficking and abuse of dozens of underage girls, some as of the age of 14.
In her August 9 complaint against Andrew, Giuffre alleged that Epstein, his then-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, and Andrew himself “coerced” through express or tacit threats “to have sex with the Duke. The complaint included a picture of 17-year-old Giuffre, then Virginia Roberts and Andrew, who has his arm around their waist.
Andrew, according to the complaint, had sexually abused her “knowing that she was a victim of a sex trafficking that was coerced into sexual acts with him”.
In a statement made available to BuzzFeed News on the day the lawsuit was filed, Giuffre said she “finally held Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me”.