Duke of York denies all claims of sexual abuse
Prince Andrew’s lawyers have filed a robust defence to the civil claim brought against him last August by Virgina Giuffre.
In many of his responses to Giuffre’s specific claims, his lawyers say he lacks sufficient information to admit or deny her allegations. That’s what he says, for example, in response to her claim that “the below photograph depicts Prince Andrew, [Giuffre] and Maxwell at Maxwell’s home prior to Prince Andrew sexually abusing [Giuffre]”:
denies sexual abuse of Giuffre when she was under 18 years old
denies that Giuffre was lent out to him for sexual purposes
denies that he was a close friend of Ghislaine Maxwell
admits that he met Jeffrey Epstein in or around 1999 but denies sexually abusing Giuffre in Epstein’s homes
denies refusing to co-operate with US investigators
denies committing sexual assault and battery on Giuffre when she was 17 years old
disputes that Giuffre is domiciled in the state of Colorado and denies that she is a citizen of that state
denies that Giuffre was forced to have sex with him
denies that he first met Epstein through Maxwell
denies that Epstein was a guest at a birthday party in Sandringham in 2000
admits that he has been on Epstein’s private plane, stayed at Epstein’s private island and stayed at Epstein’s homes in Palm Beach and New York
denies abusing Giuffre on separate occasions when she was under 18 years old
denies sexually abusing Giuffre at Maxwell’s London home
denies sexually abusing Giuffre at Epstein’s home in New York
denies sexually abusing Giuffre on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands
denies threats to Giuffre
denies acting with intent to compel Giuffre’s submission
denies knowing Giuffre was a sex-trafficking victim
denies that he ever engaged in sex acts with Giuffre
denies that he knew Giuffre’s age
denies that he sexually abused Giuffre for the purpose of satisfying his sexual desires
denies that he caused Giuffre significant emotional distress and harm
admits that he was photographed with Epstein in 2010 in Central Park, New York
denies that he was a co-conspirator with Epstein or that Epstein trafficked girls to him
denies that he refused to co-operate with US authorities
denies that he refused to co-operate with counsel for the victims of Epstein’s sex-trafficking
Two specific torts (civil wrongs) are alleged by Giuffre:
Andrew denies committing battery by sexually assaulting Giuffre when she was a minor. He denies intentionally touching her in an offensive and sexual manner without her consent.
Intentional infliction of emotional distress
Andrew denies intentional infliction of emotional distress
Andrew’s 11 defences
Andrew puts forward 11 “affirmative” defences:
Lack of jurisdiction: Giuffre is a permanent resident of Australia and not domiciled in Colorado
Waiver: under the terms of the release agreement Giuffre and Epstein signed in 2009 — and through other conduct — she has waived the right to sue
Laches: delay in bringing the claim means that she is barred in whole or in part from claiming compensation
Damage contributed to by others: assuming she suffered any damage, it was the fault of others
Consent: assuming, without admitting, that Giuffre has suffered any injury or damage alleged in the complaint, Giuffre’s claims are barred by the doctrine of consent
Unclean hands: her claims are barred by her own wrongful conduct
Estoppel: her claims are barred as a result of her own knowledge, conduct words and/or actions
Limitation: her claims are barred by statutory time limits
Speculative damages: she cannot recover damages because they are too speculative
No right to additional damages: she has not alleged facts sufficient to justify a claiming exemplary or punitive damages
Failure to state a claim: she has failed to state facts sufficient to constitute viable causes of action
Other defences may follow.
Andrew’s lawyers ask the court:
(a) That Giuffre’s complaint and the first and second causes of action pleaded therein be dismissed with prejudice;
(b) That Giuffre take nothing by her complaint and that judgment be entered against Giuffre in favour of Prince Andrew;
(c) That Prince Andrew be granted such other and further relief as this court may deem just and proper.
The defence concludes:
Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint.
A similar request was made by Giuffre in her claim.
Lawyers have no difficulty with inconsistent defences. In legal drafting, there is nothing wrong with saying “I didn’t touch her but if I did then she consented” or “I didn’t assault her when she was under 18 but if I did then I didn’t know how old she was”. If the first part of the defence is rejected, the defendant simply falls back on the second argument.
A memorable example of this is to be found in a footnote to Learning the Law by Glanville Williams (7th edition, 1963, page 20, quoting a joke published more than a decade earlier):
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