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Lawyers for Prince Andrew have argued that accusations of 'involuntary sexual intercourse' against him are 'too vague'.
The Duke of York's legal team are trying to dismiss a civil lawsuit brought by activist and sexual abuse survivor Virginia Giuffre, in which she claims she was "sexually assaulted" by the Prince.
Giuffre, 38, has accused Jeffrey Epstein and his then-associate Ghislaine Maxwell of sexual abuse, and claims she was "forced to have sex" with the Duke of York when she was 17 years old.
She has also accused the Prince of “battery”.
Prince Andrew has vehemently denied all allegations.
Lawyers for the Prince have fought hard to try and get the lawsuit thrown out of the New York courts, with one argument his legal team have put forward claiming that Giuffre’s allegations are “too vague.”
However, speaking on Tuesday, Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is overseeing the proceedings, argued: “It was sexual intercourse. Involuntary sexual intercourse. There isn’t any doubt about what that means.”
A previously sealed settlement between Giuffre (then Roberts) and late financier Jeffrey Epstein from 2009 shows Giuffre received $500,000 (£360,000) from sex offender Epstein.
The settlement contains a provision releasing “second parties and any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant … from all, and all manner of, action and actions of Virginia Roberts, including state or federal, cause and causes of action”.
Andrew, who is not mentioned in the settlement, has argued that this clause bars Giuffre from suing him.
However, a representative for Giuffre has argued that the settlement is ‘irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew’ because it applied to people involved in litigation in Florida.
The Prince’s legal team have also contended it was “inherently unjust” that the New York statue of limitations to give victims of child sexual abuse more time to sue.
Claiming the extension was “unconstitutional”, lawyers for Andrew argue that Mrs Giuffre “took advantage” of the extended statue of limitations by filing five days before the deadline.
But Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing a victim of Epstein, said finding the extension to be unlawful would have blocked ‘access for justice for so many victims’ of child sexual abuse.
Judge Kaplan has promised “a decision” on the ongoing lawsuit “pretty soon.”
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