Prince Andrew is facing trial over allegations he sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre when she was underage, after failing to persuade a US judge to dismiss her civil lawsuit.
Judge Lewis A Kaplan’s decision to reject the duke’s efforts to dismiss Ms Giuffre’s civil claim is a huge blow for the royal, whose lawyer argued earlier this month the case should be thrown out as Ms Giuffre had waived her right to pursue the duke by signing a confidential settlement with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in 2009.
In the conclusion of his written ruling, the New York judge said: “For the foregoing reasons, defendant’s motion to dismiss the complaint or for a more definite statement is denied in all respects.
“Given the court’s limited task of ruling on this motion, nothing in this opinion or previously in these proceedings properly may be construed as indicating a view with respect to the truth of the charges or countercharges or as to the intention of the parties in entering into the 2009 agreement.”
The judge noted several times that under the law, he was required to assume, “for the purposes of this motion [to dismiss] only … the truth of all of the plaintiff’s allegations and to draw in the plaintiff’s favor all inferences that reasonably may be drawn from those allegations.”
Giuffre’s lawsuit alleges she had sex with Andrew while underage at the direction of Ghislaine Maxwell, who weeks ago was convicted in the same courthouse of procuring other girls to be abused by Epstein.
Prince Andrew has denied Giuffre’s claims in the civil suit, which seeks monetary damages for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
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