Prince Andrew 'demands trial by jury' in sexual assault case

Court documents show Prince Andrew is ready to fight by officially demanding a trial by jury, reports Royal Editor Chris Ship

Prince Andrew has officially "demanded a trial by jury" in his formal response to the allegations made by his accuser in her lawsuit.

The Queen's son, who is fighting to clear his name, has also suggested that the case be dismissed as the New York court has no jurisdiction over it.

It came in court filings on Wednesday as the Prince's legal team - the Los Angeles law firm Lavely and Singer - mounted a vigorous defence of his actions and strongly denied the claims of sexual assault made by Virginia Giuffre.

The Duke of York's lawyers lodged the papers in New York following their failure two weeks ago to have the case thrown out on another legal technicality.

That meant the Prince was now required to answer the original Complaint - filed in August 2021 - as the lawsuit moves to the next legal phase.

Prince Andrew's lawyers wrote that he "hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the Complaint".

In her original complaint, filed on August 9 last year, Ms Giuffre alleged she was sexually abused in London - at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell and also in New York and the US Virgin Isles - at properties owned by Jeffrey Epstein.

To those claims, the Duke's lawyer' responded that "Prince Andrew denies the allegations contained" in each of the relevant paragraphs.

He also says he has no knowledge of the infamous photograph of him and Virginia Giuffre at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell.

Ms Giuffre (right) is suing Prince Andrew for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager. Credit: AP

His lawyers wrote: "Prince Andrew lacks sufficient information to admit or deny the allegations contained in paragraph thirty-eight of the Complaint."

Paragraph 38 is the one in which his accuser claims the photograph shows Prince Andrew, Giuffre and Maxwell "at Maxwell's home prior to Prince Andrew sexually abusing Plaintiff [Ms Giuffre]".

His lawyers are once again pushing for the case to be dismissed claiming that the court has no jurisdiction over it because of where Ms Giuffre lives.

They write: "Giuffre's Complaint should be dismissed because this Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction over the action" as Ms Giuffre "is a permanent resident of Australia and not a domiciliary of Colorado".

The lawsuit is currently heading towards a trial and if it does go all the way, it is likely to be held in the latter part of this year.

Listen to our royal podcast, the Royal Rota:

The Prince had previously requested a motion to dismiss the case, claiming he was covered by a settlement agreement Ms Giuffre made with the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2009.

She received a $500,000 payout in return for agreeing not to take legal action against any other "potential witness".

Andrew's legal team argued he was such a "potential witness" and could not be sued.

But a judge in New York ruled in favour of Ms Giuffre's legal team who had argued that the Prince wasn't even aware of the settlement when it was signed in 2009.

Virginia Giuffre, who was sex trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, claimed she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew against her will on three occasions in 2001.

She claimed that in London: "Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew forced Plaintiff [Giuffre], a child, to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will."

Ms Giuffre was 17 at the time of the allegations.

The Queen stripped Andrew of his military titles and royal patronages after his failure to get the case dismissed.

She also said he could no longer use his HRH style and would fight the case as a "private citizen". It means the Queen's second son is unlikely ever to return to royal life.

Prince Andrew has consistently denied Virginia Giuffre's claims and maintains that he does not ever recall meeting her.