Prince Andrew's Lawyers Argue Accuser Can't Sue Because She Lives in Australia

Lawyers for Prince Andrew said in a court filing Tuesday that the lawsuit from Virginia Giuffre, who is currently suing Andrew for allegations of sexual abuse in 2001 when she was 17, should be thrown out because she has lived in Australia much of the last two decades.

Andrew Brettler and Melissa Lerner wrote that they learned recently that Giuffre has lived in Australia for 17 of the last 19 years, and therefore should not be able to sue Andrew in the United States while claiming to be a resident of Colorado when it can't be confirmed she lived in the state since at least 2019.

Last month, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said a trial could take place sometime between September and December 2022.

Brettler and Lerner said any progression toward a trial, including depositions of Andrew and Giuffre, should be halted until the court can definitively determine Giuffre's place of residence and if she should be allowed to file a lawsuit in the U.S.

"Even if Ms. Giuffre's Australian domicile could not be established as early as October 2015, there can be no real dispute that she was permanently living there with an intent to remain there as of 2019 — still two years before she filed this action against Prince Andrew," the lawyers wrote.

Giuffre filed the suit in August, claiming Andrew abused her multiple times in 2001.

In October, the defense said the lawsuit should be thrown out because they maintained Andrew's innocence and accused Giuffre of suing him "to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him."

Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre, Sex Abuse Lawsuit
Britain's Prince Andrew speaks during a television interview at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor, England, April 11, 2021. A lawsuit by an American who claims Prince Andrew sexually abused her when she was 17 might have to be thrown out because she no longer lives in the U.S., lawyers for the Prince said in a court filing Tuesday. Steve Parsons/Pool via AP File

The lawyers acknowledged that Giuffre may well be a victim of sexual abuse by financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 while awaiting a sex trafficking trial.

They asked the judge to order Giuffre to respond to written legal requests about her residency and submit to a two-hour deposition on the issue.

The lawyers wrote that Giuffre has an Australian driver's license and was living in a $1.9 million home in Perth, Western Australia, where she has been raising three children with her husband, who is Australian.

They said the timing of Giuffre's registration to vote in Colorado prior to filing the lawsuit against the prince was "suspicious and appears to be a calculated move in an effort to support her specious claim of citizenship in Colorado despite having moved to Australia at least a year (if not four years) earlier."

A message seeking comment from Giuffre to the latest filing by the prince's lawyers was sent to a spokesperson for her lawyers by The Associated Press.

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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.