Prince Andrew Loses Bid to Question Accuser on Australia Residency
(Bloomberg) -- A judge denied Prince Andrew’s request to question a woman suing him for sexual assault about whether she’s a resident of Australia instead of the U.S., an issue that could affect the court’s jurisdiction in the case.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan on Friday said Andrew’s accuser, Virginia Giuffre, had already promised to provide documents supporting her claim of residency in Colorado, making his request for a special two-hour deposition on the topic unnecessary.
In the suit Giuffre filed in August, she claimed Andrew sexually abused her on multiple occasions when she was 17, after Jeffrey Epstein “lent” her out to the British royal and other powerful men.
Though a U.S. citizen, Giuffre can’t sue a British national in U.S. federal court if her own legal residence is in an foreign country. Andrew claimed in a Tuesday filing that recently discovered evidence showed that Giuffre has lived in Australia for all but two of the last 19 years and hasn’t lived in Colorado since 2019.
Giuffre said in a Thursday court filing that she lives in Australia, but that her residence for legal purposes is Colorado, where she’s registered to vote, her mother lives and to which she plans to return. She said she testified in 2016 that she and her husband left the U.S. to care for his elderly father in Australia.
In her filing, she suggested Prince Andrew was merely trying to delay handing over evidence in the case and referenced the controversial 2019 BBC interview in which he discussed his friendship with Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted on Thursday of sex-trafficking.
“If Prince Andrew truly has no documents concerning his communications with Maxwell or Epstein, his travel to Florida, New York, or various locations in London, his alleged medical inability to sweat, or anything that would support the alibis he gave during his BBC interview, then continuing with discovery will not be burdensome to him at all,” Giuffre said.
The case is Giuffre v Prince Andrew, 21-cv-6702, U.S. District Court, Southern District Of New York.
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