England’s Prince Andrew lost his bid to suppress a lawsuit filed against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who accused him of raping her multiple times while she was a minor.
The Duke of York is accused of having sex with Giuffre on three occasions between 1999 and 2002, with the alleged knowledge that she was underage and had been sex trafficked by convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstien.
The prince’s legal team has been attempting to get the lawsuit dismissed, arguing that a 2009 settlement Giuffre reached with Epstein in a civil sexual assault lawsuit negated her ability pursue legal action against Andrew.
Giuffre agreed to terms that would “release, acquit, satisfy and forever discharge” Jeffrey Epstein and “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant.”
A New York judge refused to dismiss the case against Prince Andrew, who is not named in the agreement, on Wednesday.
“Ms. Giuffre’s complaint is neither ‘unintelligible’ nor ‘vague’ nor ‘ambiguous,'” ruled U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan. “It alleges discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances at three identifiable locations. It identifies to whom it attributes that sexual abuse.”
The decision comes as the latest blow to the beleaguered royal, who has been under fire for his friendship with Epstien and former British socialite Ghilsaine Maxwell, who was recently convicted of sex trafficking minors, since Giuffre first made the allegations against him in 2011.
At the time, a photo of 41-year-old Andrew posing with 17-year-old Giuffre in Epstein’s New York home emerged, which was allegedly one of the locations he had sex with the then minor at, in addition to her claims that two other incidents occurred in London and on Epstein’s island, Little St. James.
The prince stepped back from royal duties after he denied ever meeting Giuffre, or posing for the photo with her, which he said could have been manipulated during a disastrous interview in late 2019.
“I don’t remember that photograph ever being taken,” he bumbled to the BBC. “I don’t remember going upstairs in the house because that photograph was taken upstairs and I am not entirely convinced that…I mean that is…that is what I would describe as me in that…in that picture but I can’t…we can’t be certain as to whether or not that’s my hand on her whatever it is, left… left side.”
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