Court Asked to Tell Prince Andrew of U.S. Assault Suit After Lawyer Says He Wasn't Served

Lawyers for a woman in the United States who has accused Prince Andrew of sexually assaulting her as a minor requested Wednesday that British courts notify the royal about the woman's lawsuit, the Associated Press reported.

The attorneys were addressing Andrew's lawyer's response to the "baseless" civil action, saying that Andrew had not been served. Britain's High Court approved the request from Virginia Giuffre's lawyers to officially notify Andrew regarding the lawsuit in the U.S.

Guiffre's lawsuit, filed in August in a New York federal court, reiterates public claims that the woman, a victim of the disgraced American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, was abused by Andrew on multiple occasions in 2001 when she was under 18.

Responding to the explosive accusations, Andrew told BBC Newsnight in 2019 that he never had intercourse with Giuffre, saying, "It didn't happen."

The Hague Service Convention, which governs requests between countries for evidence in civil or commercial matters, allowed Giuffre's lawyers to make requests of the high court in London to formally notify the prince about the lawsuit.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Mar-a-Lago Party 2000
Lawyers for an American woman who has filed a lawsuit accusing Prince Andrew of sexually assaulting her as a minor have asked a British court to formally notify the prince of the U.S. lawsuit. Pictured, Melania Trump, Prince Andrew, Gwendolyn Beck and Jeffrey Epstein at a party at the Mar-a-Lago club, Palm Beach, Florida, February 12, 2000. Davidoff Studios/Getty Images

At a hearing in New York on Monday, Giuffre's lawyer had argued that the prince was already properly served when documents formally notifying him of the lawsuit were handed over to a Metropolitan Police officer at the main gates of Andrew's home in Windsor Great Park on August 27.

But Andrew Brettler, representing the prince at the first court proceeding to result from the lawsuit, told Judge Lewis A. Kaplan that Andrew had not properly been served. He also said Giuffre's claim was "baseless, non-viable and potentially unlawful."

And he also argued that Andrew cannot be sued because an earlier lawsuit in the United States that was settled "absolves our client from any and all liability." That settlement document, however, remains sealed.

Kaplan gave Giuffre's attorneys a week to address the bureaucratic hurdles regarding service of the lawsuit so it could be resolved and the case could proceed.

Under a treaty that governs requests between countries called the Hague Service Convention, Giuffre's legal team can ask the High Court in London to formally notify Andrew about her civil action. The court had earlier rejected the application on a technicality but changed tack.

"The lawyers acting for Ms. Giuffre have now provided further information to the High Court, and the High Court has accepted the request for service under the Hague Service Convention,'' the court said. "The High Court will now take steps to serve under the convention, unless service is arranged by agreement between the parties."