Prince Andrew’s lawyers say a woman accusing him of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager has a prior agreement “releasing the duke and other from any and all potential liability”.
Virginia Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Andrew’s former friend, and convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, to have sex with the duke, when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.
At a pre-trial hearing, Andrew B Brettler, for the duke, said Ms Giuffre has previously entered into a “settlement agreement” that would nullify her current lawsuit.
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Mr Brettler said Ms Giuffre appeared to have signed away her right to sue the Queen’s second son in resolving a separate lawsuit in 2009.
Mr Brettler told the US district court for the southern district of New York: “We believe this is a baseless, unviable and potentially unlawful lawsuit that the plaintiff has filed against the Duke.
“There has been a settlement agreement that the plaintiff has entered into in a prior action that release the duke and others from any an all potential liability.”
The hearing, which was conducted by telephone, mostly focused on whether or not had been properly served notice of the case against him, and what action the court needs to take to ensure the legal papers reach Andrew.
David Boies, representing Ms Giuffre, said the complaint had been “delivered to the last known address of the defendant”. He added that the documents had also been sent “by Royal Mail”.
Mr Boies said: “We believe we have complied with the service requirement and we filed proof of service last Friday.”
He said he expected Andrew to challenge the claim that notice of the case has been properly served on him.