A lawyer representing the UK's Prince Andrew has contested the legality and validity of the sexual assault lawsuit filed against his client. The lawyer, Andrew Brettler, cited an alleged secret settlement that was signed by the plaintiff, which he says releases his client from "any and all liability."
Brettler also told a Manhattan federal judge during a teleconference court hearing Tuesday that Prince Andrew has was not properly served notice of proceedings in August, which might invalidate the lawsuit.
"We have significant concerns about the propriety of this lawsuit. We believe this is a baseless, non-viable, and potentially unlawful suit," Brettler said during the hearing.
Judge Lewis Kaplan immediately cut off Brettler, stating that the hearing was not held to argue the validity of the lawsuit. Brettler argued that it was up to the High Court in London to decide whether Prince Andrew was property given the legal documents.
Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and the second son of Queen Elizabeth, has reportedly been actively trying to avoid getting served. David Boies, the lawyer representing the accuser, Virginia Giuffre, said the papers were properly served as a copy of the complaint was delivered to Prince Andrew's residence even after authorities refused to accept them.
Giuffre, who had also accused the now-deceased Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse and trafficking, has alleged that Prince Andrew had sexually abused her in three separate locations. She claimed that the Duke had assaulted her in London, Manhattan, and in Epstein's mansion in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Guiffre claimed in her lawsuit that Prince Andrew was aware of her being only 17 years old during that time, while also knowing that she was a victim of Epstein's sex trafficking ring.
Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied the accusations, claiming that he has never met Guiffre and has no recollection of ever meeting her. His claim is contrary to the evidence presented by Guiffre's side, which included a photo of them together with Epstein's associate, Ghislaine Maxwell.
Brettler said during the hearing that Guiffre's claims may be invalid because of a secret settlement she and Epstein had previously signed. The alleged settlement is under a seal imposed by a separate judge in Manhattan. Brettler then submitted a request for the documents to be released so the court can verify his claims.