Prince Andrew to testify to accuser's lawyers in London

05 Feb 2022 11:04pm
Prince Andrew - AFP
Prince Andrew - AFP

LONDON - Prince Andrew will meet lawyers representing his accuser Virginia Giuffre in London in March and testify under oath, a source close to the Duke of York told AFP on Saturday.

The Duke of York, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, faces a US civil case for sexual assault, embarrassing the royal family as his 95-year-old mother is about to celebrate her 70th year as monarch.

"We agreed to voluntarily produce the Duke for a deposition on March 10," a source close to the Duke said.

This means the prince will give sworn testimony in response to questions from Giuffre's lawyers.

The source added that "despite repeated requests, Ms. Giuffre still hasn't committed to a date or location for her deposition." The Daily Telegraph reported earlier Saturday that it understood the meeting will take place in a "neutral" location in London.

It reported that the prince is being prepared by his UK-based legal team as he is expected to face questioning over two days by Giuffre's attorneys David Boies and Sigrid McCawley.

It reported that the lawyers would also question two witnesses based in Britain.

These are Shukri Walker, who claims to have seen Andrew at the nightclub in London with a young girl around the time of the alleged assault, and Robert Olney, the prince's former equerry, or personal assistant.

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Giuffre's US lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment from AFP.

Giuffre, now 38, alleges she had sex with the prince when she was 17 and a minor under US law after meeting him through the late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in prison two years ago while awaiting trial for sex crimes.

She alleges that Andrew sexually assaulted her in March 2001, at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been jailed in the US for recruiting young girls to be sexually abused by Epstein.

The prince has not been criminally charged and has strenuously denied the allegations. He is seeking a jury trial.

The 61-year-old has been a virtual recluse since attempting to give his side of the story in a 2019 BBC interview, widely seen as a PR disaster.

He has closed social media accounts and has been stripped of honorary military titles and charitable positions.

Giuffre's lawyer Boies told AFP in late January: "We look forward to confronting Prince Andrew with his denials and attempts to blame Ms Giuffre for her own abuse at his deposition and trial." - AFP

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