Lawyers for the Duke of York are seeking to question the husband and the psychologist of the woman who has accused him of sexual assault, claiming that she “may suffer from false memories”.
Prince Andrew’s legal team wants to question Virginia Giuffre’s partner Robert Giuffre, along with her psychologist Dr Judith Lightfoot, as part of the civil case that has been allowed to proceed in the US federal court system.
Lightfoot should be questioned over whether Giuffre “may suffer from false memories” and to disclose any medication she prescribed to the accuser, Andrew’s lawyers have argued in court documents. Robert Giuffre, meanwhile, is sought by the lawyers to face questions about the couple’s finances and the circumstances in which he met his wife in 2002.
Both Robert Giuffre and Lightfoot would have to be questioned under oath via video link from Australia where they live, should the US judge and Australian authorities comply with the request. Andrew’s lawyers want them to be questioned prior to 29 April “or as soon thereafter as is possible.”
The requests follow a tumultuous week for Queen Elizabeth’s second son, who saw his attempt to have the civil case dismissed thwarted by a New York judge, who determined it could go to trial. The prospect of a looming trial, which could take place as soon as September, prompted Buckingham Palace to strip Andrew of his military titles and royal patronages.
Giuffre, who is American, has said that she was lured into the service of Jeffrey Epstein, the financier and pedophile who died in custody in New York in 2019. Her lawyers claim Giuffre was “lent out” to Andrew for sex in Epstein’s New York home, his property in the US Virgin Islands and in London while she was a 17-year-old minor, meaning the prince is responsible for her “battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress”.
Andrew has strenuously denied the allegations.
The alleged sexual assault in London is said to have occurred at the residence of Ghislaine Maxwell, the socialite who was found guilty last month of sex trafficking and conspiracy for recruiting teenage girls for Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.
Andrew was friends with Maxwell and Epstein, and has admitted to staying at the latter’s Manhattan apartment even after Epstein was convicted of a previous sexual assault against a 14-year-old.
Maxwell, daughter of the late, disgraced British newspaper tycoon Robert Maxwell, is due to be sentenced in June. Giuffre’s lawyers have asked the court to unseal documents that would reveal the names of other people involved in the sex trafficking and abuse of the girls.
The accuser’s lawyers have also requested testimony from Shukri Walker, a person who has previously claimed that she saw Andrew at Tramp nightclub in London with a young girl. Andrew has denied ever meeting Giuffre or being at the nightclub at the time.
Separately, Giuffre’s legal team also want to question Robert Olney, Andrew’s former equerry, over the prince’s relationship with Epstein. The request states that Epstein had 12 different numbers for Andrew in his “black book”.
Source : https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jan/15/prince-andrews-lawyers-want-to-quiz-accusers-psychologist-and-husband801