Just when it seemed like the story of the sex abuse allegations against Prince Andrew couldn’t get any uglier, his lawyers have revealed their legal strategy for his battle against Virginia Roberts Giuffre. Giuffre has sued the disgraced royal under New York’s Child Victims Act, alleging that Jeffrey Epstein coerced her into non-consensual sex with Andrew when she was 17; Andrew has denied the allegations. It seems that, in short, his team plans to drag her name through the mud, painting her as a golddigger just looking for a check.
Late on October 29, hard up against a legal deadline, Andrew’s legal team finally responded to the substance of Giuffre’s complaint, rather than simply stalling for time. They filed a motion to dismiss her original suit, in a document that amounted to an attack on Giuffre with everything they’ve got. The Times of London reported on the details:
The court papers quote Crystal Figueroa, the sister of one of Giuffre’s ex-boyfriends, who claims she was asked by Andrew’s accuser for help in recruiting minors: “She [Giuffre] would say to me, ‘Do you know any girls who are kind of slutty?’”
The court filing continues: “It is a striking feature of this case that while lurid allegations are made against Prince Andrew by Giuffre, the only party to this claim whose conduct has involved the wilful recruitment and trafficking of young girls for sexual abuse is Giuffre herself, including while she was an adult.”
The document also presses for more specifics from Giuffre. Via the Telegraph, which went with the jaw-droppingly insensitive headline “Prince Andrew’s lawyers expose ‘sex kitten past’ of his accuser”:
Mr Brettler also argues that because the age of consent in New York is 17, Ms Giuffre must prove “how she was supposedly forced” to have sex with the Duke.
He says that if the judge opts not to throw out the lawsuit, she should provide a “more definitive statement” of her allegations, including when and where the alleged assault in New York took place, specific detail about her lack of consent, any threats made and how the Duke was said to have known she was a sex-trafficking victim forced to engage in sexual acts with him.
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Andrew’s team outright accuses Giuffre of simply looking for a payday. Those are, in fact, their literal words: “Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him,” the court papers read, via the New York Times. “Most people could only dream of obtaining the sums of money that Giuffre has secured for herself over the years.”
The complaint also includes that old classic line: you’re letting the real ones get away with it! Via the Times:
“Giuffre’s pattern of filing a series of lawsuits against numerous high-profile individuals should no longer be tolerated, as it continues to irreparably harm many innocent people and diverts already limited judicial resources from the adjudication of meritorious claims asserted against those who have actually perpetrated sexual offences against minors,” the document states.
One of Giuffre’s lawyers, Sigrid McCawley, replied: “If Virginia Giuffre had stood silent in the face of outrageous statements like those Prince Andrew routinely churns out — his motion to dismiss the litigation being no exception — the decades-long sex-trafficking ring his friend Jeffrey Epstein operated and he participated in would have never been exposed.” She added: “On the subject of money, let’s be clear: the only party to this litigation using money to his benefit is Prince Andrew.” And the Times reported that another of her lawyers, David Boies, said that the motion “fails to confront the serious allegations” Giuffre has made.
Simply being associated with Epstein in the first place was bad for the Firm, and this case is only going to get uglier from here. Andrew has been stripped of his public roles, but he’s still a member of the family, and there’s no way to make that simple fact go away. It is very, very bad for the Windsors that, according to a report from the Telegraph, the Queen herself is paying for this defense. And it’s not like this is unfolding at a time when the Windsors are a tower of strength either; the rest of the family has their own problems. But none of the family’s other scandals compare in the slightest to the allegations against Andrew and his repeated callous responses. And it’s only going to get worse.