Prince Andrew’s legal team say accuser ‘lives in Australia,’ cannot sue in US court
The legal team representing Prince Andrew, Duke of York, in the lawsuit brought against him by a woman who claims he sexually abused her when she was underage sought to halt discovery of evidence this week, arguing that a U.S. court does not have jurisdiction over her claims because she has lived in Australia for many years.
In court documents filed on Tuesday, Andrew’s attorneys Andrew B. Brettler and Melissa Y. Lerner questioned Virginia Giuffre’s claims that she is a citizen of Colorado, writing that “recently discovered evidence” shows she has lived in Australia for 17 of the past 19 years.
“It is undisputed that, at the time she filed this action, Ms. Giuffre had an Australian driver’s license and was living in a AU$1.9 million home in Perth, Western Australia, where she and her husband have been raising their three children. In reality, Ms. Giuffre’s ties to Colorado are very limited,” they wrote.
“She has not lived there since at least 2019 — approximately two years before she filed this lawsuit against Prince Andrew — and potentially, according to her own deposition testimony, not since October 2015.”
According to Giuffre, she was lured into sex trafficking by Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently on trial, when she was underage. At the time, she was working at former President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida.
Giuffre has said that she was forced to have sexual contact with Andrew, who was a longtime of associate of Epstein’s, when she was still underage. Andrew, who has expressed regret over his “ill-judged association” with Epstein, has continuously claimed to have never met Giuffre, suggesting that photos of them together were manipulated.
When she was 19, Giuffre said was sent to Thailand by Epstein to attend massage school and bring back another girl. While in Thailand, she met her future husband Robert Giuffre, cut off contact with Epstein and moved to Australia in 2002, where she started a family.
In the court filings, Andrew’s attorneys asked that Giuffre be made to respond to discovery requests and to submit to a two-hour deposition regarding where she resides. They added that it would be “improper” for the case to proceed if the court does not proper jurisdiction over it.
“Neither Ms. Giuffre nor Prince Andrew should be forced to incur the significant legal fees and expenses in connection with full-blown discovery if the Court does not have authority to hear the case,” wrote Brettler and Lerner.
The Hill has reached out to attorneys for Giuffre for comment.