Prince Andrew Wants 'Unprecedented' Right To Keep Evidence Sealed—Attorney

Prince Andrew's legal team has launched an "unprecedented" bid for secrecy surrounding evidence in his Jeffrey Epstein-related lawsuit, an attorney for his accuser says.

Virginia Giuffre says she was forced to have sex with the Duke of York in London, New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands when she was a 17-year-old trafficking victim.

However, Queen Elizabeth II's son is trying to get the case thrown out and the two parties are currently locked in an argument over how and when to disclose evidence.

Sigrid McCawley, representing Giuffre, wrote a letter to the defense, seen by Newsweek, in which she accused the prince's team of secrecy.

She wrote: "The main substantive disagreement in the parties' drafts is your inclusion of an unprecedented paragraph, which would allow you to keep deposition materials sealed from the public even if neither party designates the underlying testimony as Confidential."

She said that "there is no logic or authority for such a provision," and said: "We intend to raise the issue with the Court."

McCawley also pressured Andrew's team for a date on when he will be deposed, suggesting Giuffre is ready to give her deposition in March or April of 2022.

She wrote: "On December 6, 2021, Plaintiff agreed to your requested extension of Prince Andrew's deadline to respond to the discovery requests to December 27, 2021, and again asked you to select a date for Prince Andrew's deposition. You did not respond.

"On December 17, 2021, we re-sent you the draft protective order and again asked for dates for Prince Andrew's deposition. You did not respond."

She said: "Up until this point, Plaintiff has agreed to every extension requested and has expressed a willingness to work collaboratively with Prince Andrew to find a time and place for his deposition that would be convenient for him."

Prince Andrew at Ascot and With Giuffre
Prince Andrew, seen at Ascot Racecourse on July 27, 2019, has been accused of sexual assault by Virginia Giuffre. Her case includes a photo of him with his arm around her which she says was taken at Ghislaine Maxwell's house in 2001. Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

A source close to Prince Andrew said: "Such a request or offer to keep things confidential is certainly not unprecedented, rather it would be considered standard practice in any high profile case. However, it seems like Ms. Giuffre and her lawyers want to try this case in the media instead of a court room."

Andrew's lawyers have asked the judge to suspend disclosure of evidence while the court deals with his own contention that the case must be thrown out because Giuffre lives in Australia.

A court filing, seen by Newsweek, reads: "At her 2016 deposition in the libel action she filed against Ghislaine Maxwell, Ms. Giuffre testified, under oath, that she only lived in Colorado for 'part of the year' of 2015, that she and her family had returned to Australia as of October 2015, and she did not know anyone living in Penrose, except for her mother. In total, Ms. Giuffre spent less than two years living in the United States since moving to Australia in 2002."

The dispute comes as a jury found Ghislaine Maxwell guilty on five out of six counts of sex trafficking on December 29.

The British socialite, a friend of Prince Andrew's, was convicted of grooming girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004.

The verdict heaps additional pressure on Andrew as his own accuser says she was forced by Maxwell and Epstein to have sex with him.

The first incident detailed in the complaint allegedly took place in Maxwell's London townhouse and she appears in the background of a photograph in which Andrew has his arm around Giuffre.