Prince Andrew Demands a Trial by Jury as He Denies Sex Abuse Allegations

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Photo credit: Julian Finney - British Athletics - Getty Images
Photo credit: Julian Finney - British Athletics - Getty Images

Earlier this month, Prince Andrew failed to get the sex abuse civil lawsuit against him thrown out and Buckingham Palace announced that he would no longer hold military titles or use the style His Royal Highness. And now, the Queen’s son has filed his first court document since the Palace made clear that he was defending the case as a “private citizen,” responding to the allegations made against him by Virginia Giuffre.

The 11-page document filed by his U.S. attorney Andrew Brettler and dated January 26, begins by describing Andrew as “Prince Andrew, Duke of York. a/k/a Andrew Albert Christian Edward, in his personal capacity.” In his answer to Virginia’s complaint, the Prince denies all her allegations, or claims that he “lacks sufficient information to admit or deny” them. The exception is that he admits that he met Jeffrey Epstein in or around 1999. The document also claims that the complaints should be dismissed because Virginia “is a permanent resident of Australia” and not the U.S. and also that her actions are barred “in whole or in part by her own wrongful conduct and the doctrine of unclean hands.”

Notably, the Prince has also demanded a trial by jury, with the document closing by stating, “Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the Complaint.” Unless the case is thrown out or a settlement is agreed, a trial will take place, most likely in the fall. The vast majority of civil cases are settled before a trial, however this case could be an exception if the two sides cannot come to an agreement. Virginia’s lawyer told the BBC that any settlement would have to vindicate her and the claim she has made, while Prince Andrew has pledged to continue to defend himself against the claims.

The Prince has already repeatedly denied Virginia's claims outside of court, telling the BBC in 2019 that he has no recollection of ever meeting her. She alleges that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was under 18 and being trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and has accused him of "sexual assault and battery."

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