By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Virginia Giuffre, who is suing Britain’s Prince Andrew for alleged sexual abuse, accused the Duke of York of shaming her before the media by leveling “baseless, defamatory attacks” against her.
Giuffre made the charge in a Monday night court filing opposing Andrew’s motion to dismiss her civil lawsuit stemming from their ties to the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Lawyers for Andrew did not immediately respond on Tuesday to requests for comment.
Giuffre, 38, sued Andrew for unspecified damages in August, saying he forced her to have sex at the London home of former Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and abused her at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Andrew, 61, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, has “unequivocally” denied Giuffre’s claims, and accused her of seeking “another payday” in her drive to profit from her association with Epstein, who she says also abused her.
But in her filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Giuffre called Andrew’s motion a bid to “blame and shame” her, and said her respective 2009 and 2020 settlements with Epstein and Epstein’s estate did not shield the prince from her claims.
“Defendant’s motion was intended to be, and was extensively used as, a press release to attack Ms. Giuffre in the media,” lawyers for Giuffre wrote.
“Defendant dared to make his baseless, defamatory attacks on Ms. Giuffre in his motion only because doing so in a court filing insulated him from the libel lawsuit that would otherwise result,” they added.
Giuffre also said Andrew cited no legal authority in arguing that a 2019 New York law creating a two-year window for her and others to sue over childhood sexual abuse from decades earlier deprived him of due process under that state’s constitution.
Andrew’s lawyers are scheduled to argue for a dismissal of Giuffre’s lawsuit at a Jan. 4, 2022, hearing before U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan.
The judge has said a trial could begin in late 2022 unless the case is settled or dismissed. Andrew has not been charged with any crimes.
Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Ghislaine Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to U.S. criminal charges she helped Epstein recruit and abuse four underage girls. Her trial in Manhattan began on Monday, and may last six weeks.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; editing by Jonathan Oatis)