Prince Andrew has accepted papers in his sexual assault case. Here’s what’s likely to happen next.

This post deals with sexual assault and might be triggering for some readers.

Prince Andrew's lawyers have accepted legal papers against the royal, accused of sexual assault and battery by Virginia Guiffre, a public victim of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

The long-held allegations claim the British royal had sex with Giuffre when she was 17, in 2001.

Prince Andrew has denied similar allegations in the past, but will now face the New York-based civil proceeding, likely before the end of the year.

Watch: Prince Andrew denying allegations by Guiffre on BBC in 2019. Post continues below.

Video via BBC.

Prince Andrew is one of the most prominent people linked to convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, with his name repeatedly mentioned in legal depositions surrounding accusations against Epstein for running a decades-long sex trafficking ring along with British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell

In one document from 2015, accuser Virginia Giuffre said she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew - the Queen's second son who holds the title the Duke of York  - on three occasions when she was a child. The palace have denied this.

Giuffre said Andrew was one of Epstein's regular clients. 

"We went to club Tramp and he [Prince Andrew] danced with me. And he sweats a lot, and he smells funny," Giuffre told 60 Minutes in 2019.

"And then we get in the car and Ghislaine tells me in the car that I have to do what I do for Jeffrey for Prince Andrew and that’s where I learned what was going to happen."

At the time Giuffre maintained that she was trafficked to Prince Andrew for sex three times - once in London, once in New York, and once on Epstein's private island.

A photo from 2001, showing Prince Andrew with his hand around the then 17-year-old Giuffre's waist seemingly shows that they met. In the background of the photo, Maxwell is smiling at the camera.


Image: Twitter. 

But, in a 2019 interview with BBC's Newsnight, Andrew was quizzed at length about allegations he raped Giuffre, to which he vehemently denied any memory of meeting her.

"I was with the children [on the night accused of raping Guiffre] and I’d taken [daughter Princess] Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at, I suppose, sort of 4pm or 5pm in the afternoon. And then because the Duchess [Sarah Ferguson] was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away, the other is there."

When asked how he could possibly remember with such specificity what he was doing that night, he responded because it was a "very unusual thing for me to do".

"Going to Pizza Express in Woking is an unusual thing for me to do, a very unusual thing for me to do. I’ve never been… I’ve only been to Woking a couple of times and I remember it weirdly distinctly. As soon as somebody reminded me of it, I went 'oh yes, I remember that'."

As for the image depicting Prince Andrew with Guiffre, he said: "I’m at a loss to explain this particular photograph."

"I do not remember the photograph being taken and I’ve said consistently and frequently that we never had any sexual contact whatever.

"I'm afraid to say that I don't believe that photograph was taken in the way that has been suggested. If the original was ever produced, then perhaps we might be able to solve it but I can't."


In the bizarre interview, he also attempted to disprove her claim that he was "sweaty" by arguing he had a "peculiar medical condition which is that I don't sweat". 

Image: BBC 

Now the case has been filed, there are a few ways the trial could run.

Both Prince Andrew and Guiffre could agree to settle outside of court, wherein the Prince would pay the plaintiff damages. 

To do this though, the Prince may be accepting an implied liability, which looks unlikely based on his vehement denial of allegations in the past.

A New York judge could throw out the case as legally inadmissible, or, the case could go to trial, where a jury would decide whether the allegations are true.

As it is a civil damages case, the Prince will not have to travel to the US for trial. 

Read more on this topic: 

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

Feature Image: Twitter.