Prince Andrew has been served with an affidavit for a lawsuit from Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who alleges she was forced to have sex with the royal when she was 17 years old.
A document filed in a US court on Friday showed that paperwork for Giuffre’s lawsuit was filed at Andrew’s home, Royal Lodge, in Windsor on 27 August. The affidavit was accepted by a Metropolitan police officer at the gates of the property at 9.30am, after the agent filing the document had been turned away the previous day, according to the documents.
Court documents show that a response is now due from Andrew by 17 September.
Buckingham Palace referred the Guardian on to an external PR agency who represent the Duke of York who were contacted for comment.
Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Andrew in August. She accused Andrew of sexually abusing her at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell in London and on three occasions in the US in 2001.
Andrew has “absolutely and categorically” denied having sex with Roberts and Buckingham Palace has called the claims “false and without foundation”.
The legal claim alleges that Giuffre “was compelled by express or implied threats by Jeffrey Epstein, Maxwell, and/or Prince Andrew to engage in sexual acts with Prince Andrew, and feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew due to their powerful connections, wealth and authority”.
The lawsuit further claims that Andrew knew she was a sex-trafficking victim, and that she has suffered – and continues to suffer – “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm”.
Maxwell, who is facing trial in New York in November, has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges regarding her alleged involvement with Epstein.
In August it was reported that Andrew is considered a “person of interest” in the investigation into Epstein, who died in jail in 2019, and Maxwell.
The phrase “person of interest” is used by law enforcement to refer to someone who has not been arrested or formally accused of any crime, but can refer to someone who may have information that would assist the investigation.