By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A woman who accused Britain’s Prince Andrew of hiding from her sexual assault lawsuit can try an alternative means of serving her legal papers so Queen Elizabeth’s second son can address her claims, a U.S. judge ruled on Thursday night.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan of Manhattan ruled that Virginia Giuffre’s plan to send her lawsuit to Andrew’s Los Angeles-based attorney was “reasonably calculated” to “bring the papers to the defendant’s notice,” regardless of whether or not the prince authorized the lawyer to do so.
Andrew Brettler, the lawyer had no comment immediately. Giuffre’s lawyers didn’t immediately reply to inquiries for comment.
Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Andrew last month. He was accused of battery and intentional injury to emotional distress for alleged misconduct dating back nearly two decades.
Giuffre (38) was not yet 18 when Andrew allegedly abused her. She claimed that this happened around the same time as Jeffrey Epstein was sexually assaulting her.
Unspecified damages are sought in the civil suit.
Andrew refuted Giuffre’s claims, and Brettler called Giuffre’s case a “baseless”, unviable, and possibly unlawful lawsuit at a Monday court hearing.
As details about Andrew’s relationship with Epstein emerged, the prince decided to step down as he was unable to perform his royal duties. He had been a registered sex offender and committed suicide in Manhattan in August 2019. The Prince is currently awaiting trial for sex trafficking.
Kaplan made his ruling just six hours after Giuffre requested it. He stated that “service was not meant to be a game between palace walls and hide-and-seek.”
After London’s High Court had said that it would make arrangements for Andrew to receive the service, Kaplan issued his order.
Giuffre lawyers claimed they had already served Andrew in England. A copy of the lawsuit was also left at the home guard of Prince Edward’s Windsor residence by a security officer.
Giuffre claimed Andrew forced her to have sex at Epstein’s London residence of long-time associate Ghislaine Maxiwell.
Giuffre said Andrew also assaulted her at Epstein’s Manhattan home and Epstein’s island in U.S Virgin Islands.
Maxwell will be tried on Nov. 29 for allegedly helping Epstein recruit and groom girls under the age of 18 to sexually abuse. Maxwell has pleaded guilty. Andrew was not charged with any crimes.
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