U.S. judge rejects Prince Andrew's bid to dismiss sexual abuse lawsuit

A judge in the United States on Wednesday denied Prince Andrew’s motion to dismiss a federal lawsuit brought by a woman who alleges he sexually abused her when she was 17.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan for the Southern District of New York ruled that it was premature to review the prince’s efforts to challenge Virginia Giuffre’s allegations, even though he would be allowed to do so at a trial.

Andrew’s attorneys earlier this month attempted to block the lawsuit brought by Giuffre, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s most prominent accusers, and released details of a legal settlement in which she took $500,000 from Epstein to avoid further legal action.

Prior to that effort, Andrew’s attorneys attempted to block the lawsuit on the grounds that his accuser no longer resided in the United States. This attempt was also rejected by a federal judge.

NBC News has reached out to a representative for Andrew for comment.

Virginia Giuffre (then Roberts) with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell in a photo released with court documents.

David Boies, one of Giuffre’s attorneys, welcomed the judge’s decision.

“Ms. Giuffre is obviously pleased that Prince Andrew’s request to avoid trial has been denied and that the evidence to support her claims is now being gathered,” Boies said. “She looks forward to a judicial determination of the merits of these claims.

Giuffre, who now lives in Australia, has accused Epstein and his recently convicted confidante, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, of forcing them to have sex with Andrew, son of Queen Elizabeth II, in the 1990s – an accusation the prince made has repeatedly denied.

In an interview with the BBC in 2019, Andrew, the Duke of York said he had “no recollection” of ever meeting Giuffre. He also suggested that a photo of them together with Maxwell may have been manipulated.

The lawsuit alleges Andrew molested her in three locations – in London and New York, and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands when she was under 18. It echoes claims that Giuffre, now 38, previously covered NBC’s Dateline extensively.”

Reuters contributed.

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