Prince Andrew’s legal team does not believe court papers have served correctly
Prince Andrew’s legal team believe legal papers served on him have not been done so properly.
Ms Virginia Giuffre has started a civil action against the Prince claiming he sexually assaulted her when she was aged 17.
Her lawyers have tried to serve the papers personally on Andrew but have failed to do so.
Last week the documents were left with a police officer at the gates of his home in Windsor.
A judge in New York will decide this week if the serving is legal or not.
That decision determines if the action can start.
The Prince – who strenuously denies all the allegations – has until September 17th to respond to the affidavit.
BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said:
“Clearly the papers have not been served personally on Prince Andrew.
“Equally clearly, Prince Andrew has not been making himself available to receive these papers so it will all now have to be decided by a judge in New York on Monday – whether they’ve been served, whether the court case can continue.”
Ms Giuffre claims she suffered “intentional infliction of emotional distress” following the alleged rape.
Ms Giuffre was a 17-year-old victim of sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
He hanged himself in prison.
Ms Giuffre, now 38, claims she was recruited by British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell – a former girlfriend of Epstein.
Ms Maxwell, daughter of disgraced press baron Robert Maxwell, is currently in prison awaiting trial.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages against Prince Andrew
The lawsuit claims:
“Twenty years ago, Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her.
“It is long past the time for him to be held to account.”
Ms Giuffre claims Epstein forced her to sleep with the Prince on a number of occasions.
Although above the legal age of consent in the UK, she would have been considered a child under 18.
Ms Giuffre said in a lawyer’s statement:
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me.
“The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions.
“I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but one can reclaim her life by speaking out and demanding justice.”
“I did not come to this decision lightly.
“As a mother and a wife, my family comes first. I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates.
“But I knew that if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down.”