Prince Andrew Court Blow Is Key Step in 'Heroic' Quest for Justice—Accuser's Lawyer

Prince Andrew's failure to get a sex abuse lawsuit thrown out is good news for his accuser's "heroic and determined pursuit of justice," her lawyer has said.

Virginia Giuffre alleges that she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2001, when she was 17 years old.

Lawyers for Queen Elizabeth II's son attempted to get the case thrown out on the basis of a $500,000 settlement agreement that Giuffre signed with Epstein in 2009. However, Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled on Wednesday that the wording of the contract did not clearly demonstrate it applied to the prince.

The case will hang in the background during the queen's platinum jubilee celebrations in June, although the trial itself will likely take place later in the year.

Sigrid McCawley, attorney for Giuffre, said in a statement released to Newsweek: "Today's decision by Judge Kaplan denying Prince Andrew's effort to dismiss Virginia Giuffre's case against him is another important step in Virginia's heroic and determined pursuit of justice as a survivor of sex trafficking."

The ruling comes after the prince's former friend Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking in December.

A witness in that case has waived her anonymity to tell the Daily Mail that she recalled Giuffre discussing having had sex with Andrew and showing her a photograph of them together.

Carolyn Andriano said: "I asked her if she'd been to the palace. And she said, 'I got to sleep with him.' I said, 'What? You're f****** with me,' and she said, 'No, I got to sleep with him.'"

The prince has always maintained that he does not recall meeting Giuffre and that they did not have sex.

Giuffre has alleged via her lawyer's court filings that she feared death if she did not comply with instructions to sleep with Andrew in London, New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The filing by attorney David Boies reads: "During each of the aforementioned incidents, [Giuffre] was compelled by express or implied threats by Epstein, Maxwell, and/or Prince Andrew to engage in sexual acts with Prince Andrew, and feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew due to their powerful connections, wealth, and authority."

Andrew told BBC journalist Emily Maitlis in a November 2019 interview: "Absolutely no to all of it."

Asked if Giuffre was lying, he replied: "That's a very difficult thing to answer because I'm not in a position to know what she's trying to achieve, but I can tell you categorically I don't remember meeting her at all.

"I do not remember a photograph being taken and I've said consistently and frequently that we never had any sort of sexual contact whatever."

Prince Andrew at Athletics Championship
Prince Andrew, seen at the 2017 world athletics championships in London, will face a trial in his sex abuse case after a judge dismissed his attempts to have the lawsuit thrown out. Richard Heathcote/Getty Images