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Judge says Prince Andrew can't stop lawsuit from accuser with residency claim

Royals Report: Prince Andrew fights lawsuit
Royals Report: Prince Andrew asks judge to toss out sexual abuse lawsuit 05:00

A U.S. district judge rejected Prince Andrew's attempt to stop a lawsuit from Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has alleged that she was sexually abused by the British royal while she was a teenager being sexually abused by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein

Prince Andrew's lawyer, Andrew Brettler, had sought to have the lawsuit dismissed by alleging that Giuffre no longer lives in the U.S., and instead now resides in Australia. Giuffre's lawyer say she lives in Colorado. But Judge Lewis A. Kaplan on Friday noted that Prince Andrew's lawyers have "not actually raised" the potential defense that Giuffre lives outside the U.S. Kaplan also told the prince's lawyers they must turn over documents by the previously approved deadline.

Kaplan wroter that Brettler has put in a "comprehensive request for documents" relating to where Giuffre lives to be turned over by January 14. Kaplan's order expressed no opinion on the merits of the prince's claims that Giuffre should be disqualified from suing if she lives in Australia.

Giuffre's lawsuit, filed in New York, alleges that Queen Elizabeth's son sexually abused Giuffre when she was 17 years old, and forced her to engage in sexual acts against her will on three separate occasions. 

FILE PHOTO: Royal Ascot
Britain's Prince Andrew arrives by horse and carriage on ladies day at Royal Ascot, June 20, 2019. Toby Melville/Reuters

"Today my attorney filed suit against Andrew for sexual abuse under the Child Victims Act," Giuffre said in a statement to CBS News when she filed the lawsuit. "As the suit lays out in detail, I was trafficked to him and sexually abused by him."

The judge's dismissal of the prince's request comes ahead of Monday's scheduled public release of a 2009 settlement between Giuffre and Epstein. According to The Associated Press, lawyers for Andrew say that agreement protects the prince from claims like those brought by Giuffre and will be sufficient grounds for the lawsuit's dismissal.

Andrew has previously denied Giuffre's claims, telling the BBC in 2019, "I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened." 

In her own BBC interview, Giuffre said "He knows what happened. I know what happened and there's only one of us telling the truth, and I know that's me."  

Andrew also claimed in the interview that he had "no recollection" of ever meeting Giuffre, despite there being apparent photographic evidence of the two of them together with Epstein's former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, who was convicted Wednesday on charges related to sex trafficking underage girls for Epstein.

Jordan Freiman contributed to this report.

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