A civil lawsuit filed in a U.S. court by a woman who says she was sexually abused by Britain’s Prince Andrew when she was 17 will move forward, following a judge’s ruling Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said lawyers for Prince Andrew failed to challenge the constitutionality of the case brought by Virginia Giuffre in August. Andrew’s lawyers also had argued the allegations were vague.
Kaplan wrote “Giuffre’s complaint is neither ‘unintelligible’ nor ‘vague’ nor ‘ambiguous.’ It alleges discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances at three identifiable locations. It identifies to whom it attributes that sexual abuse.”
Andrew’s lawyers had also tried to dismiss the suit, arguing it violated a confidential settlement Giuffre reached with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2009.
Earlier this month, the agreement was unsealed and it revealed Epstein paid Giuffre $500,000 in return for dropping the case without him having to admit fault. In the settlement, she also agreed to “remise, release, acquit, satisfy and forever discharge” parties and “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant.”
Andrew was not specifically mentioned.
Giuffre asserts she was trafficked by Epstein and his longtime companion Ghislaine Maxwell, who was recently convicted of sex trafficking.
Giuffre says the two forced her to perform sexual acts with Andrew.
Andrew denies the charges.
In 2019, Epstein was found dead in a Manhattan jail while he awaited another trial for sex trafficking. His death was ruled a suicide.
Neither lawyers for Andrew nor Buckingham Palace have commented on the Wednesday ruling.
Some information in this report comes from The Associated Press.