Lawyers in Prince Andrew sex abuse case seek witness testimony

Lawyers in the lawsuit brought against Prince Andrew by Virginia Giuffre on allegations that he sexually abusing her while she was underage have made their initial requests for witnesses, reports the Associated Press.

Andrew’s lawyers are currently seeking witness accounts from Giuffre’s husband Robert and her psychologist Judith Lightfoot, according to the AP.

Giuffre’s lawyers, meanwhile, are seeking accounts from Andrew’s former assistant Robert Olney and a woman, Shukri Walker, who alleges that she saw Andrew and Giuffre together in the time frame of the abuse allegations, according to the wire service.

In the lawsuit, Giuffre alleges that the prince coerced her into sexual encounters with him in August. She claims that he was aided in his abuse by late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted last month on five counts on accusations that she helped groom numerous girls to be abused and sex trafficked for Epstein.

Andrew has denied all allegations, claiming to the BBC that he has “no recollection” of meeting Giuffre and that the alleged instances “didn’t happen.” He asked the case to be dismissed earlier this month, a request that was denied by the judge presiding over the New York civil suit.

Andrew’s lawyers are arguing that Giuffre “may suffer from false memories,” an allegation they will discuss with Lightfoot. According to the AP, they plan to ask Lightfoot about her conversations with Giuffre during their sessions and prescriptions Lightfoot wrote for Giuffre.

The lawyers will also ask Robert Giuffre about issues including the Giuffres’ finances and the history of the couple, per the AP.

Giuffre’s lawyers have asked for testimony from Olney, who was filed under “Duke of York” in Prince Andrew’s phonebook. Lawyers say this may point to knowledge of the Giuffre situation on the part of Olney, according to the AP.

The lawyers will also seek testimony from Walker, who has claimed that she saw the prince with a woman who might have been Giuffre at London nightclub Tramp during the time period in which Giuffre says she was abused, per the wire service.