Prince Andrew Acknowledges U.S. Sexual Assault Suit, Ending Legal Stalemate

Britain's Prince Andrew acknowledged a sexual assault lawsuit against him in a joint statement signed by the prince's lawyer, ending stalled legal proceedings.

A Manhatten federal judge, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan approved of the joint agreement and entered into public court on Tuesday, according to the AP.

In the lawsuit, Virginia Giuffre claims that in 2001, Andrew abused her on multiple occasions while she was under 18. This lawsuit is the first time Giuffree has directly confronted Andrew in a legal setting after publicly lodging complaints against him.

Giuffre's lawyers told the judge that they delivered the lawsuit to Andrew in numerous ways. On August 27, attorneys for the Giuffre said the documents notifying him that he'd been served were handed over to the on-duty Metropolitan Police officer at the main gates of Andrew's home in Windsor Great Park. Britain's high court accepted Giuffre's lawyers request to formally contact Andrew.

According to the court papers, Andrew has been challenging the acceptance of the lawsuit until he spoke on the phone with lawyers on September 21. Three days later an agreement was made.

Judge Kaplan will determine if the defendant has been properly notified of the allegations and has a reasonable period of time to respond to them. Now, the prince must file responses to the lawsuit's claims by October 29.

For more reporting by the Associated Press, see below:

Prince Andrew formally notified of lawsuit
On September 27, Britain's Prince Andrew acknowledged a sexual assault lawsuit against him. The lawsuit was brought by Virginia Giuffre who has claimed Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her. Steve Parsons/AP

Los Angeles attorney Andrew Brettler, who signed the papers on Andrew's behalf acknowledging the prince was aware of the lawsuit, had argued at a hearing this month that Giuffre's claim was "baseless, nonviable and potentially unlawful."

In late 2019, Andrew told the BBC Newsnight program that he never had sex with Giuffre, saying, "It didn't happen."

He said he has "no recollection" of ever meeting her and told an interviewer there are "a number of things that are wrong" about Giuffre's account, which alleges the encounter occurred in 2001.

Brettler has said 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 2009 settlement document, however, remains sealed.

The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they choose to come forward publicly, as Giuffre has.