Prince Andrew’s lawyers to miss first sexual assault hearing

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Prince Andrew's lawyers to miss first sexual assault hearing

The first hearing in Prince Andrew’s damning sex-assault lawsuit is set to take place in the Big Apple Monday afternoon — but the UK royal’s legal team is signaling that they will not take part.

A pre-trial telephone conference is scheduled for 4 p.m. in the lawsuit filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was “forced to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will” three times, starting when she was 17.

But Andrew’s legal team has already made clear that they will not join the call held by Manhattan federal Judge Lewis Kaplan, sources confirmed to The Times of London.

His lawyers have already insisted that court papers were not legally served to the middle son of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, despite a sworn affidavit from the server that they had been accepted.

Blackfords, a law firm that has long represented Andrew, is also challenging the New York court’s jurisdiction over the UK royal, the UK Times noted.

Prince Andrew (left) and Virginia Roberts-Giuffre (center) who accuses the royal of forcing her to have sex with him three times.
Prince Andrew (left) and Virginia Roberts-Giuffre (center) who accuses the royal of forcing her to have sex with him three times.
BACKGRID

“We reiterate that our client reserves all his rights, including to contest the jurisdiction of the US courts (including on the basis of potentially defective service),” Andrew’s lawyers wrote, according to the paper.

Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, also filed court papers giving Andrew’s team until Friday to answer the complaint or “judgment by default will be entered against you.”

The legality of whether the papers were officially served is now expected to be central to Monday’s hearing.

Prince Andrew (left) and his ex-wife have reportedly been hiding out with his mother, Queen Elizabeth II (right), in her Balmoral residence.
Prince Andrew (left) and his ex-wife have reportedly been hiding out with his mother, Queen Elizabeth II (right), in her Balmoral residence.
Maureen McLean/Shutterstock

As The Post reported Friday, server Cesar Sepulveda said the documents had been accepted by one of Andrew’s police guards at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 27, “consistent with the provisions for service.” 

His affidavit said he had been repeatedly rebuffed before that and it seemed “the security staff had already been primed not to allow anyone access onto the property to serve court process and had been instructed not to accept any service.”

As well as being told by the officer that the papers would be forwarded, copies were also emailed to Andrew’s Royal Household office and sent to his lawyers by email and FedEx. They were also sent to his Windsor home by first-class post, the UK Times said.

Prince Andrew is known to have associated with Jeffrey Epstein and his madame Ghislaine Maxwell.
Prince Andrew is known to have associated with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
Florida Department of Law Enforcement/Handout via Reuters

Boies also said that he repeatedly tried to meet with Andrew or his lawyers to “discuss whether a negotiated resolution might be appropriate” rather than take it to trial. They never replied, he wrote in court documents.

Andrew and his team have also been accused of repeatedly refusing to meet with US federal prosecutors to tell them what he knows about his late pedophile pal Jeffrey Epstein.

Giuffre’s lawsuit comes after she has claimed for years that she was made to have sex with the royal at the behest of Epstein and accused madam Ghislaine Maxwell.

Her complaint says that Andrew’s “actions constitute sexual offenses” including first- and third-degree rape.

“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” Giuffre told The Post in a statement after filing her lawsuit.

“The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions,” she said.

Andrew has repeatedly denied Giuffre’s claims, including during a trainwreck BBC interview in which he insisted he had “no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”

Neither he, his legal team nor Buckingham Palace has responded to the lawsuit.

Epstein hanged himself in his Manhattan lockup in August 2019 while awaiting trial on serious sex charges.

Maxwell is in custody in Brooklyn awaiting trial for allegedly recruiting underage girls for Epstein. She has pleaded not guilty.

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