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Prince Andrew’s request that he faces trial by jury for his civil court case has been labelled a ‘PR stunt’ by a prominent defence lawyer.
Lisa Bloom, who represents a number of victims who claim to have been abused by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, took to Twitter to dismiss the assertions made by the Duke of York.
“Prince Andrew files his official ‘answer’ to Virginia Giuffre's complaint,” she wrote.
“UK press is making much of his asking for a jury trial. Nah, meaningless. Virginia demanded a jury trial in her complaint. She gets it. Period. Constitutional right. His jury request? Simply a PR move.”
Speaking through his lawyers, Prince Andrew denied the historic allegations of ‘sexual assault and battery’ against Giuffre.
The offences are claimed to happen in 2000 and 2002 in Maxwell’s home, Epstein’s New York apartment and his private island.
However, Prince Andrew has now formally responded to the allegations.
Speaking through his lawyers, he has raised 12 defences against the claims, including that the case should be dismissed because Ms Giuffre is a resident of Australia; because too much time has passed; because of "her own wrongful conduct"; and because she gave up her rights after signing an agreement with Epstein.
A trial date is set to be between September and December this year.
In response to the upcoming civil trial, Prince Andrew has been stripped of his royal patronages.
The Royal Family has confirmed the news on Twitter, in a statement which read: "With The Queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal Patronages have been returned to The Queen.
"The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending the case as a private citizen."
Royal patronages are essentially when a member of the royal family serves as figurehead for an organisation.
Prince Andrew has also been barred from using the style 'his Royal Highness' in any official capacity, a source from the Palace has said.
You can read more about that here.
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