Prince Andrew, centre, enjoys a ride at Windsor on Tuesday. His lawyers last month launched a furious rebuttal of Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s complaint, accusing her of trying to secure ‘another payday at his expense’
The Duke of York is trying to avoid “confronting his own misconduct” by blaming and shaming his victim, his accuser’s lawyers have claimed.
New court documents filed on behalf of Virginia Roberts Giuffre condemn Prince Andrew, 61, for launching a “baseless, defamatory” attack on her credibility, character and motives.
Ms Giuffre has sued the Duke for unspecified damages, alleging that he sexually abused her on three separate occasions in 2001, when she was 17.
In a bid to get the case thrown out, the Duke’s lawyers last month launched a furious rebuttal of her “threadbare” complaint, accusing her of trying to secure “another payday at his expense”.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre – BBC Panorama/AP
They claimed Ms Giuffre had profited for years from her association with Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted sex offender, and was willing to “milk the publicity” for all she could with “increasingly salacious and inconsistent accounts”.
David Boies, for Ms Giuffre, claimed the Duke had only “dared” to make such claims in a court filing as it “insulated” him from a libel lawsuit.
In a 35-page response lodged with the New York court overnight, he accused the Duke of abusing the legal system by using his motion to dismiss the case as a “press release to attack Ms Giuffre in the media”.
The latest documents allege that Prince Andrew sexually abused Ms Giuffre on a number of occasions when she was under 18, including at Epstein’s New York mansion, where he touched her while Ghislaine Maxwell forced her and another victim to sit on his lap, and then forced Ms Giuffre to engage in sex acts with him.
Mr Boies, who claims Epstein kept at least 12 contact numbers for the Duke in his “black book”, adds: “Especially considering the power and influence that Prince Andrew holds, he cannot contend that such conduct is not extreme and outrageous.”
He alleges that Ms Giuffre did not consent to engaging in any sexual activity with Prince Andrew but feared she would be harmed, and even killed, if she disobeyed Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew.
“During each incident, Prince Andrew knew that the plaintiff was a victim of sex trafficking, and intended to compel her into submission to gratify his own sexual desires,” Mr Boies adds.
The documents suggest that Prince Andrew manipulated “age and power imbalances”, and was one of the many powerful connections Epstein used to intimidate Ms Giuffre and keep her compliant.
They also claim the Duke abused other victims in front of Ms Giuffre, causing her distress.
The allegation is understood to refer to an incident in 2001 when another of Epstein’s victims, Johnana Sjoberg, 21, claims she was groped by the Duke in New York after someone suggested they pose for a photograph on a sofa with a Spitting Image puppet of the Duke.
Jeffrey Epstein – New York State Sex Offender Registry/AP
Ms Giuffre has previously claimed she slept with the Duke later that night on a massage table for her “usual hourly rate, which at that time was $200”.
Mr Boies describes the Duke’s response to the complaint as “part jury argument, and part press release”, adding: “It is not a serious motion to dismiss.”
He goes on: “The remainder of defendant’s motion is an attack on plaintiff’s credibility, character, and motives that lacks foundation in fact and continues defendant’s efforts to avoid confronting his own misconduct by attempting to blame and shame his victim.”
He says the Duke’s claim during his Nov 2019 Newsnight interview that he could not recall meeting Ms Giuffre was “a denial so at odds with photographs and other evidence that it is itself indicative of guilt”.
Ghislaine Maxwell – Jane Rosenberg/REUTERS
Mr Boies also notes that the Duke’s lawyers have repeatedly failed to cooperate with the US authorities investigating Epstein, alleging that instead they were “escalating their vile and baseless attacks” on Ms Giuffre and others.
Andrew Brettler, the Duke’s LA-based lead counsel, has argued that a financial deal Ms Giuffre agreed with Epstein in 2009 meant that she had no legal basis to sue the Duke.
But Mr Boies said allegations about the 2009 agreement were “irrelevant at this stage of the proceedings” and that Ms Giuffre “never intended to release Prince Andrew” from future legal proceedings.
The Duke’s legal team has until December 13 to respond, before judge Lewis Kaplan hears arguments on the motion to dismiss the case at a hearing on January 4.