The Duke of York, 61, has officially conceded proper service of process in the New York lawsuit filed against him by alleged Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre, previously known as Virginia Roberts. The acceptance of service marks the latest development in the ongoing civil lawsuit against the Royal Family member.
Following Prince Andrew’s acceptance that the papers have been served on him, he must now respond to the lawsuit from his accuser by 29 October.
The conceding of the papers came via the Duke’s legal team, who in a joint stipulation filed on Friday, September 24 in Manhattan federal court, confirmed the receipt.
The Duke’s attorneys stated they had received copies of the summons and complaint in the suit, which alleges sexual assault and sexual battery against the royal.
The Duke of York has repeatedly denied all allegations made against him.
The latest twist in the legal drama comes after the Prince faced accusations he was evading responding to the allegations by claiming that court papers in the case had not been properly served to him.
A stipulation has been signed by both legal parties representing Prince Andrew, and Virginia Giuffre which requests the cancellation of a preliminary hearing marked for October 13.
The joint stipulation, which has been shared widely on social media also sets the date for effective service of process as of September 21.
Following standard legal protocol, the Duke’s legal team would traditionally have 21 days to file a response to the initial complaint, meaning that the deadline would be October 12.
READ MORE: Prince Andrew risks £360k legal bill in civil suit, US lawyer warns
It is likely the judge will accept as both parties in the case have agreed to it.
It comes as last week, the Duke’s lawyer Andrew B Brettler claimed that the legal papers had not been properly served in the UK, as the documents were left with a policeman at the gate of the prince’s Windsor residence.
The filing of the stipulation marks the latest development in the Prince’s ongoing US court battle with his accuser who claims that she was forced by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the Duke on three separate occasions between 2000 and 2002 when she was 17.
Ms Giuffre is seeking unspecified damages from the Duke, in the case where she accuses him of “sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship shared portions of the agreement on Twitter, starting his thread by writing the “clock is ticking”.
The royal correspondent said it was “remarkable” that Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, being referred to as “defendant” on the paperwork.
He said: “It’s still remarkable to see court papers which list the Queen’s second son as a defendant. VIRGINIA L. GIUFFRE, Plaintiff, v. PRINCE ANDREW, DUKE OF YORK, a/k/a ANDREW ALBERT CHRISTIAN EDWARD, in his personal capacity, Defendant.”
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