The Duke of York’s lawyer has said the case against his client filed by Virginia Giuffre should “absolutely be dismissed”.
Ms Giuffre is suing the Queen’s son for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager - but Prince Andrew has denied all allegations.
Judge Lewis Kaplan hosted a video conference on Tuesday afternoon (4 January) from a New York courthouse.
It’s where Prince Andrew’s legal representative’s argued that the case against the Duke of York should be dismissed because of a $500,000 settlement.
So, what happened during the hearing?
Why is the settlement important?
The settlement was reached between Giuffre and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2009, which was made public yesterday (3 January).
The payout agreement states that Giuffre agreed to “release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge” Epstein and “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant.”
Andrew B Brettler, the lawyer for the Duke of York, said today that a potential defendant was “someone who was not named as a defendant but could have been”.
He told Judge Kaplan that a potential defendant would be someone Ms Giuffre, also referred to by her unmarried name Roberts, knew that she had “claims against at the time that she filed the lawsuit” in 2009.
Judge Kaplan said “potential” was a phrase that neither he nor Mr Brettler could “find any meaning at all” in.
What has Prince Andrew’s lawyer argued?
Andrew’s lawyer said Virginia Giuffre needed to allege “today” what her complaint against the duke is.
Mr Brettler said: “We just want a date, a month, or even a year. All we know is that she was 17 years old.”
“She has no obligation to do that in the complaint,” Judge Kaplan responded.
Mr Brettler told Judge Kaplan that Ms Giuffre “doesn’t articulate” what had allegedly happened to her at the hands of the duke.
He went on to say that the confidential agreement Virginia Giuffre entered into with Jeffrey Epstein ended her right to pursue anyone else.
Concluding his arguments, he added that the case against his client filed by Giuffre should “absolutely be dismissed”.
“She has given plenty of interviews all over the world, then files this lawsuit.
“It is unfair, it is unjust, it should be dismissed.”
What has Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer said?
The lawyer acting on behalf of Virginia Giuffre, David Boies, said Andrew would not be a “potential defendant” as referred to in the civil case documents released on Monday for two reasons.
Mr Boies said: “The only claim that is asserted that was made in Florida in the 2009 action that covered Prince Andrew was the third count which was to transport somebody for the purpose of illegal sexual activity.
“There is no allegation that Prince Andrew was the person transporting.
“There is no allegation that Prince Andrew fell into the category of people who were doing the trafficking.
“He was somebody to whom the girls were trafficked.”
When will a decision be made?
Judge Kaplan told both parties he would make a decision on whether to dismiss the case against the Duke of York “very soon”.
He said: “I appreciate the arguments and the passion.
“You will have a decision very soon.”
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