Lawyers for a woman who has accused Prince Andrew of sexual abuse say they have served legal papers for a lawsuit on the senior British royal.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre is suing Prince Andrew in New York, alleging that he had sex with her when she was 17. Andrew has previously denied similar allegations made by Giuffre. Giuffre has filed a civil lawsuit for damages, but the case cannot move forward until the papers are served.
A process server hired by Giuffre’s legal team to give Andrew formal notice of the lawsuit said in an affidavit filed in a New York court Friday that he left the papers with the Metropolitan Police security detail at the main gates of Andrew’s home, the Royal Lodge in Windsor, on August 27.
The document, which was filed in the Southern District of New York and obtained by CNN, stated that serving the papers in this manner “is consistent with the provisions for service upon an individual Defendant… as required by The Supreme Court of Judicature in England & Wales.”
It’s unclear whether Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son, was present at the time, or if his lawyers would consider this proper service. Andrew’s legal team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Buckingham Palace has previously declined to comment on the litigation, including whether the Duke of York had been served.
In a statement to CNN, Buckingham Palace previously denied Giuffre’s allegations, saying, “It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
According to the affidavit, the process server arrived at the Royal Lodge on August 26 and spoke with the head of security, who stated that the security team had been instructed not to allow anyone attempting to serve legal documents onto the grounds and “not to accept service of any court process.”
According to the affidavit, the process server was told that anything left there would not be forwarded to the defendant. According to the affidavit, the process server called the number of an attorney for Prince Andrew that was given to him by the head of security and left a message.
The process server returned to the Royal Lodge the next day and was told he could leave the legal documents with security at the main gates, where they would be forwarded to the defendant’s legal team, according to the affidavit.
A pre-trial hearing has been scheduled for Monday, September 13 in New York, though it is unclear how Prince Andrew’s lawyers will respond.
Giuffre claims she was forced to perform sex acts with Prince Andrew as a victim of sex offender and disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. She told the BBC in 2019 that she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with his friends when she was underage, including the Duke of York.
Prince Andrew has previously denied Giuffre’s allegations, but his ties to Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and former girlfriend of Epstein who is currently facing charges including conspiracy and sex trafficking, continue to follow him.
Andrew has previously been accused of refusing to cooperate with attempts to interview him as part of the investigation into the alleged sex trafficking ring run by Epstein and Maxwell.
Following a 2019 interview with the BBC in which he was widely considered to have damaged his own credibility, the Prince stepped down from royal duties. He now only appears in public on rare occasions.