Politics

Prince Andrew, Giuffre seek witnesses


Lawyers for Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre have filed their initial requests for witnesses in her lawsuit accusing the royal of sexually abusing her at age 17.

Recently released documents show that the prince’s legal team is seeking witness accounts from her husband Robert Giuffre and her psychologist Judith Lightfoot as part of the civil case filed in the US.

Both Robert Giuffre and Lightfoot are residents of Australia and would be requested to be examined under oath, either in person or by video-link.

Giuffre’s lawyers, meanwhile, are seeking witness accounts from the prince’s former assistant and a woman who claims to have seen him at a London nightclub with her during the time in question.

The lawsuit cleared a hurdle after a judge earlier this week refused Andrew’s request to have it dismissed.

Giuffre sued Andrew, 61, in August, saying she was coerced into sexual encounters with him in 2001 by Epstein and his longtime companion Ghislaine Maxwell.

Giuffre said she was sexually abused by Andrew at Maxwell’s London home, at Epstein’s New York mansion and at Epstein’s estate in the US Virgin Islands.

The prince has strenuously denied Giuffre’s allegations, telling the BBC in 2019 that sex with Giuffre “didn’t happen” and that he had “no recollection” of meeting her.

Recently released documents show that Andrew’s lawyers argue Giuffre “may suffer from false memories” and say Lightfoot should be questioned about “theory of false memories” along with other matters discussed during her sessions with Giuffre and any prescriptions she wrote for her.

Andrew’s lawyers want Robert Giuffre to be questioned about the circumstances under which the couple met around 2002 and their household finances.

They want the testimony from the two by April 29 or as soon as possible after that.

The trial is scheduled to take place between September and December.

Andrew’s lawyers have requested that the US court issues letters to the Central Authority of Australia for their assistance in obtaining the testimony.

Giuffre’s lawyers, meanwhile, have filed similar requests for Andrew’s side.

They want testimony from his former assistant Robert Olney, whose name they say appeared in Epstein’s phone book under “Duke of York,” which they say indicates he knew about Andrew’s travel to Epstein’s properties.

Her lawyers are also seeking testimony from Shukri Walker, who they say has been quoted in news reports talking about how she saw Andrew at the London nightclub Tramp during the time period in question with a young woman who might have been Giuffre.

The fallout from Andrew’s civil case continued on Friday as he faced calls to pay for his own security and lose his dukedom.

Criticism of Andrew is mounting after the Queen stripped him of his remaining patronages and honorary military roles as the monarchy distanced itself from the duke ahead of potentially damaging developments in his lawsuit.

with reporting from PA



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