New York: New evidence that links Prince Andrew with his alleged victim is set to emerge after other women indicated that they were prepared to testify against him, a lawyer claimed.
Australian-based Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an accuser of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, filed a lawsuit in New York this week accusing Andrew, the Duke of York, of “rape in the first degree”.
Her lawyer, David Boies, said his team was preparing to present fresh testimony that would throw further doubt on the prince’s account.
“You will see additional evidence,” he said. “You’ve heard testimony about other girls who saw Andrew with Virginia, and there will be additional testimony about that from the same woman, but from some other women, too.”
Boies was referring to Johanna Sjoberg, the only other accuser to have come forward publicly to allege sexual contact with the royal.
Sjoberg, 41, accused Andrew of groping her by taking a “Spitting Image” puppet of himself and placing its hand on her breast in London in 2001.
Andrew’s spokesman declined to comment on the claim.
Andrew, 61, is at Balmoral with the Queen, having left for Scotland with his former wife Sarah, the Duchess of York, on Tuesday, just hours before a US summons was approved by a court clerk and sent to Royal Lodge, his Windsor home.
He is said to have 21 days to respond or face “judgement by default”.
Giuffre has not put a figure on the compensation she is seeking for “significant emotional and psychological harm” but is asking for both compensatory and punitive damages.
Boies said: “Both categories will be substantial. A person’s declared wealth does come into consideration with respect to punitive damages.”
Prince Andrew denies having had sex with Virginia Giuffre when she was 17. Giuffre says she was forced by Jeffrey Epstein to sleep with the duke.Credit:AP, BBC
Albert D’Aquino, a New York lawyer, said that while punitive damages were discretionary for a jury, they were generally limited to no more than 20 to 25 per cent of a defendant’s net worth, and were “more typically less than that”.
David McClure, a royal finances expert and author of The Queen’s True Worth said the duke’s finances were “shrouded in a pea-soup fog of impenetrability”.
“Judging by the fact that the Queen is known to bankroll less well-off members of her family, it’s logical to assume that if he was short of funds and had a big outlay in terms of legal bills that she would help,” he added.
Andrew’s legal team has been locked in discussions about how to deal with the lawsuit and has so far refused to comment publicly.
Prince Andrew pictured with Virginia Giuffre at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell (right) in London in 2001.
A lawyer suggested that the team would want to delay proceedings until they knew the outcome of a civil case Giuffre brought against lawyer Alan Dershowitz, whom she has accused of sexual assault, as well as the criminal trial of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell on sex trafficking charges.
“They will want to see how the Dershowitz case goes to establish whether Ms Giuffre is deemed a credible witness,” the lawyer told the London Telegraph.
Boies said: “They could be stalling but delay does not help him because nothing that’s going to happen in either the Maxwell or Dershowitz case is going to help him. The more that is exposed, the more information we find out. Time is not on their side.”
Giuffre has alleged she was trafficked to the duke and sexually abused on three separate occasions, when she was 17 in London, New York and the US Virgin Islands. The duke has said he has no recollection of meeting Giuffre, now 38, and denies sleeping with her.
“You’re not going to find anybody who was present in the room when they [are alleged to have] had sex,” Boies said. “What you will have is more evidence that refutes his [Prince Andrew’s] assertion that he never knew her, or as his most modification has it, that he doesn’t recall meeting her.
“He’s going to have a very difficult time when his deposition is taken because now he’s got to answer questions under oath, subject to cross-examination and there will be lots of difficult questions.”
Boies, 80, a litigator known for his successful prosecution of Microsoft, said his team had tried to make contact with the Andrew’s representatives for five years, but never received a reply.
The Telegraph, London
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