An affidavit of service was sent to the Duke of York’s home in Windsor on August 27, according to documents filed to a New York court on Friday. Virginia Giuffre, previously known as Virginia Roberts, claims Prince Andrew assaulted her when she was 17-years-old. Prince Andrew has denied the claims.
A staff member working for Virginia Giuffre reportedly handed the paperwork to a police officer at Royal Lodge.
According to the court documents, a member of Virginia’s legal team arrived at Royal Lodge at 9.15am on August 27 and spoke to an on-duty Met Police officer.
It says: “Deponent met with the Metropolitan Police officer on duty and this Metropolitan Police Officer then telephoned to a different Metropolitan Police Officer, who the Deponent is aware is the Head of Security at The Royal Lodge.”
It adds: “And the Deponent was then advised that the Court process could be left with the Metropolitan Police officer at the main gates to the property and that this matter would then be forwarded on to the legal team.”
The filing says this is “consistent with the provisions for service upon an individual defendant, under Part 6 of the Civil Procedure Rules, as required by the Supreme Court of Judicature in England & Wales”.
Lawyers for Virginia say they had tried at least five different ways of serving the papers to the Duke – including through emails.
They argue at least two methods qualify under US law.
Lawyers for Prince Andrew are said to reject the notion that he has been legally served.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan will ultimately decide whether the Duke has been officially served with the lawsuit.
An initial pre-trial hearing is scheduled to take place on Monday, September 13.
David Boies, Virginia’s lead lawyer, told The Sun: “We will make a report to the court of what we have done.
“If the court confirms Andrew has been served, the judge will give him a deadline to respond.
“I don’t really believe his legal team are going to ignore this – but that’s what they have done consistently, so maybe that will happen.
“If Andrew doesn’t respond there can be a default judgement against him.”
A lawsuit was filed in New York by Virginia Giuffre on August 9 and accuses Prince Andrew of assaulting her three times when she was under the age of 18.
Virginia Giuffre, now 38-years-old, also claims Andrew assaulted her in early 2001 at a New York mansion and at a private island in the Caribbean owned by deceased paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince Andrew has denied the claims.
The Duke of York denied the allegations and said he had never met Virginia Giuffre during an interview with BBC’s Newsnight in 2019.
He said: “It didn’t happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened.
“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
The Duke stepped down from royal duties for the “foreseeable future” in November 2019.
Andrew, 61, has largely stayed away from the public spotlight over the last two years.
He was recently seen leaving Windsor as he made his way to the Queen’s estate in Balmoral, Scotland.
The PA news agency understands lawyers for the Duke do not accept the papers have been served to him.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK