Prince Andrew takes horseride at Windsor facing an uncertain Christmas as US judge sets January date to hear his lawyers argue that Virginia Roberts’ sex abuse lawsuit should be thrown out
- New York court will hear from Prince Andrew’s legal team on January 4 next year
- The Duke of York, 61, will plea for the dismissal of a sexual assault case
- Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre filed a complaint accusing Andrew of sexual assault on three occasions at the home of the billionaire paedophile
- If dismissal is rejected then a civil trial would be held ‘between September and December next year’
- The hearing will come after Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial starts on November 29
Prince Andrew has taken an early morning horseride at Windsor after a judge set the date to hear the royal’s plea for dismissal of the sexual assault case brought against him by Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts.
The Duke of York sat at the wheel of his Range Rover and went for a ride in the grounds of the royal estate as he faces an anxious Christmas.
Judge Lewis Kaplan said the court would hear ‘the defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint’ on the morning of January 4 next year.
The Duke of York, 61, has been under increasing pressure since August when Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre, filed a complaint in Manhattan federal court accusing the 61-year-old of sexual assault when she was a minor over 20 years ago.
Ms Giuffre alleges that late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein lent her out for sex with his wealthy and powerful associates, including Andrew.
Prince Andrew looked to be enjoying himself despite the looming sexual assault lawsuit that filed against him in the United States
Andrew arrived for the ride in Windsor driving his Range Rover before the outing with a friend
The Duke has been under increasing pressure since Virginia Roberts Giuffre filed the lawsuit
The Duke has been dogged by his relationship with disgraced paedophile finacier Jeffrey Epstein for months since allegations about Andrew and Virginia Roberts Giuffre resurfaced
She says the prince assaulted her at Epstein’s home in New York, as well as on his private island in the US Virgin Islands.
Ms Giuffre alleges that Andrew also sexually abused her at the London home of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to criminal charges she helped recruit and groom underage girls for Epstein to abuse. Her trial begins on November 29.
The 38-year-old, who was known as Virginia Roberts at the time of the allegations, is also expected to request the Duke of York give testimony under oath.
Her lawyer David Boies said that he would seek to depose between eight and 12 people while the Duke’s lawyers wanted to question a similar number.
A New York judge has set a date to hear Prince Andrew’s plea for dismissal of the sexual assault case brought against him by Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre
Ms Giuffre alleges that Andrew sexually abused her on three occasions including at the London home of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. Pictured: Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts, then 17, and Maxwell pictured in London in 2001
It is possible that Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, could be called to give evidence after Mr Boies told the court he intended to formally speak with two British witnesses.
The prince has not been charged with crimes and has denied the allegations made against him.
He has also accused her of trying to profit from accusations against Epstein, who Giuffre says also abused her, and people who knew him.
Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. A medical examiner called his death a suicide.
Andrew denies the charges and has called for the complaint to be dismissed, saying it was ‘without merit’ and that Giuffre was seeking to profit financially from the case.
The prince has always denied claims by Virginia Giuffre (left) that she was trafficked by her abuser Jeffrey Epstein (right) to have sex with him on three occasions when she was 17
The hearing will come after Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial starts on November 29. Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged madam (pictured together) and former close friend of Andrew, is accused of procuring and trafficking underage girls to Epstein – which she denies
A civil trial – if the prince’s request is rejected – should be held ‘between September and December next year,’ Judge Kaplan said in a recent hearing.
Neither hearing is believed to have addressed the Duke’s challenges to Mrs Giuffre’s claims including a 2009 legal settlement she signed with Epstein which may give Andrew legal immunity.
Nor did the judge address any of the Duke’s claims in his response including an article from the Daily News written in 2015 which quoted friends of Mrs Giuffre saying she was ‘not a sex slave, but a money-hungry sex kitten’.
The hearing took place two weeks before the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged madam and former close friend of Andrew, is due to begin.
Maxwell, 59, is accused of procuring and trafficking underage girls to Epstein knowing they were going to be abused. She denies all the allegations.
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