The latest update on Virginia Roberts Guiffre’s sexual abuse case against Prince Andrew: We now have a time frame for the trial. The judge overseeing the case, Lewis A. Kaplan, has set a target date of September to December 2022 for the trial. That’s a lot of months for this whole story to get uglier, and uglier, and uglier.
Guiffre has alleged Jeffrey Epstein coerced her into non-consensual sex with Andrew when she was 17; Andrew has denied the allegations. And late on Friday, October 29, Andrew’s legal team filed a motion to dismiss Giuffre’s lawsuit. The filing was a sharp break with Andrew’s post-disastrous-Newsnight-interview strategy of saying as little as possible. Instead, Andrew’s team has gone on the attack, pivoting to the accusation that Giuffre was simply looking for a payday at Andrew’s expense. It’s an attempt to clear Andrew’s name, but whether it’ll work is a very big question. Andrew is wildly unpopular, and neither Charles nor William seems particularly interested in reintegrating him into the royal lineup, because whatever their flaws, they aren’t that stupid.
In the latest development, today in New York there was a pre-trial conference. ITV News royal editor Chris Ship reported on Twitter that, rather than dismiss the case, the judge offered up the rough timetable for the trial, meaning that this thing will potentially drag on for an entire year, which—given the new direction signaled by Andrew’s legal team—will be long and very bad. “Lawyers for both Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre estimate they will submit around dozen depositions each,” he added. “That will include sworn evidence from both the Defendant (Andrew) and the Plaintiff (Giuffre).”
Recently, the judge overseeing the case also set a deadline for Giuffre’s legal team to depose Andrew: July 14.