The Duke of York has hired a leading lawyer with a long history of working with the rich and famous to represent him in his civil sexual assault case.
The Duke recruited Andrew B Brettler to fight allegations by Virginia Giuffre that he sexually assaulted her when she was still a teenager.
Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Andrews’ former friend and convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, for having sex with the Duke, when she was 17 and a minor in under US law.
Andrew vehemently denied all the allegations.
Documents submitted to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York revealed that Mr. Brettler will attend a preliminary hearing involving representatives of Ms. Giuffres scheduled for 9 p.m. Monday.
The news comes amid speculation in the media that the Duke’s legal representatives refuse to cooperate with the proceedings.
It is believed that the main question to be resolved at the initial hearing will be whether the court is satisfied that Andrew has been notified of the proceedings.
Mr. Brettler, who is with the law firm Lavely and Singer, was named one of Hollywood’s Top 100 Lawyers by The Hollywood Reporter in 2019, the firm’s website said.
He has portrayed That 70s Show star Danny Masterson, producer and director Bryan Singer and musician Ryan Adams, the Hollywood Reporter said.
The lawyer has carved out a successful career defending allegations arising from the #MeToo movement.
Ms Giuffre may have to wait until 2024 before appearing in court and being able to repeat her claims in front of a judge, a legal expert has warned.
She is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the sum could run into millions of dollars.
David Greene, senior partner at Edwin Coe law firm, said of the final trial: I was surprised if it took place next year and would be surprised if it took place the following year, 2023.
This is a very complex issue and I think it will take some time to get to court.
The Duke does not face the prospect of an extradition hearing as this only applies to criminal charges and not civil cases.
David Boies, who represents Ms Giuffre, accused the royal legal team of blocking calls for information.
In court documents filed on Friday, lawyers for Ms Giuffres said there was an initial attempt to serve the papers on the Duke on August 26, when an officer visited Windsor Great Park.
They say a Metropolitan Police officer, who was the head of security, said the officer’s agents were unable to accept service of court proceedings or let anyone attempting to serve legal documents to the property.
I have no memory of meeting this lady, none whatsoever
The officer returned the next day and was told that the court process could be turned over to the police officer at the main entrance and that this case would then be referred to the legal team.
Andrew stepped down from public office amid the fallout from his relationship with Epstein.
It came after a Newsnight interview in 2019 which saw him attempting to end his relationship with Epstein, who died in prison two years ago, but it ended up being dubbed a car crash.
During the show, he denied allegations that he slept with Ms. Giuffre three times, saying: I can absolutely tell you that never happened.
I have no recollection of having met this lady, absolutely none.
According to the Daily Mail, he was last seen arriving at the Scottish retreat from Queens at Balmoral Castle in August and was allegedly accompanied by his ex-wife Sarah, the Duchess of York.
Lawyers for Ms Giuffre have filed a civil action against the Duke, alleging assault and battery through sexual assault and intentionally inflicting emotional distress.
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