The High Court said that, if Prince Andrew’s attorneys cannot figure out how to “serve” the royal, the British judiciary will do it for them.
The British High Court has agreed to intervene in a sexual assault lawsuit against Prince Andrew.
Andrew, writes The New York Times, is accused of abusing a minor while visiting Jeffrey Epstein in the United States.
Andrew has denied the allegations, while his attorney, Andrew B. Brettler, said Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against the royal is “baseless, nonviable and potentially unviable.” Brettler further alleged that Andrew has yet to be served notice of the complaint.
Bettler earlier claimed that a non-disclosure agreement between Giuffre and Epstein released Andrew from any potential liability.
“There has been a settlement agreement that the plaintiff has entered into in a prior action that releases the duke and others from any and all potential liability,” Brettler said.
Andrew has yet to formally respond to Giuffre’s lawsuit; some analysts believe the prince has actively avoided being served.
However, on Wednesday, the High Court said that it would serve Andrew if the two legal teams could not work out a different way to do so.
David Boies, an attorney for Giuffre, said the High Court’s decision all but ensures that Andrew will have to answer to his client’s claim in New York.
“Further delaying tactics—I don’t think—will serve him well,” Boes said in an interview with the Times.
Boies said that, if Andrew tries to delay for another one to two months, it will only hurt his image and focus more media attention on the matter.
“Refusing to accept service, ducking service, hiding in the palace, just makes him look bad,” Boies added. “I don’t understand, sort of, what playbook they’re using.”
Giuffre’s lawsuit, adds The New York Times, claims that Andrew sexually abused her both in Epstein’s New York mansion and on Epstein’s private island, Little St. James.
She also says that Andrew—accompanied by Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell—forced her into intercourse in a London residence, too.
Andrew and his attorneys have denied Giuffre’s allegations, with Brettler reiterating that the lawsuit may be illegal under the terms of Giuffre and Epstein’s non-disclosure agreement.
“We have significant concerns about the propriety of this lawsuit,” Brettler told U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan.
However, even Kaplan seems to believe the case is bound for court, with the judge saying there is “a pretty high degree of certainty that [Andrew] can be served sooner or later.”
Kaplan, says the Times, recommended that Giuffre and Andrew’s attorneys move forward without delay.