Prince Andrew denies close friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell in US court files

Prince Andrew denies close friendship with Ghislaine Maxwell in US court files

Prince Andrew has denied being a close friend of convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell, in a legal response to the woman who is suing him in the US for sexual assault.

Lawyers for the prince also say he wants to go before a jury to contest the claim brought by Virginia Giuffre.

The Duke of York has consistently denied all the allegations against him.

Ms Giuffre alleges he assaulted her when she was 17 at homes owned by Maxwell and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

But in the 11-page court document, filed on Wednesday, Prince Andrew’s legal team list a number of reasons why they believe her civil lawsuit should be dismissed.

One factor they ask the court to consider is the issue of consent.

The document says: “Assuming, without admitting, that Giuffre has suffered any injury or damage alleged in the complaint, Giuffre’s claims are barred by the doctrine of consent.”

The document also states that Prince Andrew “admits that he met Epstein in or around 1999”, but denies that he participated in any abuse with the late financier.

On the matter of a photograph of the prince with his arm around Ms Giuffre, with Maxwell in the background, his lawyers say they do not have enough information to admit or deny its existence.

Elsewhere, the document “denies” Ms Guiffre’s claim that Prince Andrew was a close friend of Maxwell.

Writing to a US judge, his lawyers state: “Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint.”

US lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents a number of Maxwell’s and Epstein’s accusers, called this demand a “PR move”, saying Ms Giuffre had already asked for a jury trial.

She said Prince Andrew’s request was “meaningless” as it was Ms Giuffre’s constitutional right to have a jury trial if she asked for one. Publish by :- BBC.com