Prince Andrew’s lawyers are trying to disqualify Virginia Giuffre from civil proceedings

A lawsuit from a woman claiming that Prince Andrew sexually abused her when she was 17 in the United States could be thrown out because she no longer lives in the country, lawyers for the Duke of York say.

Attorneys Andrew Brettler and Melissa Lerner wrote that they recently discovered that Virginia Giuffre had lived in Australia for all but two of the past 19 years and could not claim to have resided in Colorado, where she has not lived since at least 2019.

In her lawsuit, filed in August, Mrs Giuffre claimed that Prince Andrew had abused her on several occasions in 2001.

The duke’s lawyers in October asked Judge Lewis Kaplan to drop the lawsuit, saying the prince “has never sexually abused or assaulted” Mrs Giuffre, and they believed she had sued “to obtain another payday at his expense and at the expense of their nearest and dearest. “

They acknowledged that Ms Giuffre may be a victim of sexual abuse by financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 while awaiting a sex trafficking lawsuit.

Virginia Giuffre stands on a balcony with the port of Cairns behind it.
Virginia Giuffre now lives in Australia with her husband and three children.(ABC News: Brendan Mounter)

Last month, Judge Kaplan said a trial in Mrs Giuffre’s trial against Prince Andrew could take place between September and December 2022.

But the prince’s lawyers said in an archive on Tuesday that the new information about Mrs Giuffre’s whereabouts would result in the suspension of any further progress in the trial, which will include the attachment of Prince Andrew and Mrs Giuffre, until the question is settled as to whether a foreign resident would be disqualified from bringing an action.

They asked the judge to order Mrs Giuffre to respond to written legal requests regarding her residence status and to submit a two-hour statement on the matter.

Mrs Giuffre’s lawyer, Sigrid McCawley, called the request to drop the case “just one more in a series of tired attempts by Prince Andrew to dodge and evade the legal justifications of the case Virginia Giuffre has brought against him”.

A man and two women are standing in a house looking at the camera.
This photograph shows Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2001.(Delivered)

The prince’s lawyers wrote that Mrs Giuffre has an Australian driving license and lived in a $ 1.9 million home in Perth, where she has raised three children with her Australian husband.

“Even if Mrs Giuffre’s Australian domicile could not be established as early as October 2015, there can be no real disagreement that she lived there permanently with the intention of staying there from 2019 – still two years before she brought the case against Prince Andrew “, they wrote.

Lawyers said the timing of Mr. Giuffre’s registration to vote in Colorado before filing the lawsuit against the prince was “suspicious and appears to be a calculated move in an attempt to support her questionable claim to Colorado citizenship. despite having moved to Australia at least a year (if not four years) earlier “.

AP

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