The Duke of York has been served with a sexual assault lawsuit after the relevant paperwork was delivered to his US lawyer, his accuser’s legal team said on Monday.
Virginia Giuffre is seeking damages after alleging she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 at the home of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell in London and at properties owned by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. The prince vehemently denies the claims.
Her lawyers said the duke had officially been served with the papers on 10 September, but his legal team disputed the claim.
The issue of whether or not Andrew has been notified about the case – known as service of proceedings – was contested during the first pre-trial hearing of the civil case last week in New York.
It was reported the judge in the case, US district judge Lewis Kaplan, had ruled Giuffre’s legal team could attempt to deliver the papers to Andrew B Brettler, the duke’s Los Angeles-based lawyer.
The certificate of service has now been delivered via email and FedEx, according to court records.
The email was sent on 17 September while the physical papers were delivered on Monday, the legal document claims.
It was left with the front desk of Brettler’s office in Los Angeles, according to the FedEx receipt.
The email sent to Brettler stated: “Pursuant to Judge Kaplan’s September 16, 2021, order granting Plaintiff’s motion for alternate service (attached), I am serving by email the Summons and Complaint in the above-captioned matter on you in your capacity as counsel for the Defendant, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York.”
The filing says papers were also sent “to the designated central authority of the United Kingdom on the court’s behalf”.
Giuffre’s lawyers claimed on 10 September that they had served the legal papers on Andrew by leaving them with a Metropolitan Police officer who was on duty at the main gates of the The Royal Lodge, Windsor Great Park, on 27 August at 9.30am.
Andrew’s legal team contested whether he has been officially notified about her claim for damages from the duke.