NEW YORK — A Manhattan judge on Wednesday denied Prince Andrew’s bid to toss a sexual assault lawsuit brought by a woman who says the British royal slept with her when she was a teen sex trafficking victim of Jeffrey Epstein.
Virginia Giuffre says Epstein lent her three times to Prince Andrew for sex when she was 17 and he was 41. She has alleged that she was forced to have sex with the prince against her will at least once at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London townhouse.
Now 38, Giuffre has also alleged Epstein and Maxwell made her sit on the Duke of York’s lap at the financier’s Upper East Side townhouse “as Prince Andrew touched her,” according to her complaint.
“The allegation that (Giuffre) was forced to sit on (Prince Andrew’s) lap while he touched her is sufficient to state a battery claim under New York law, regardless of which part(s) of her body (Andrew) ultimately is alleged to have touched,” Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in his decision.
Regarding the royal’s demand that Giuffre share more specifics about the alleged abuse during the early stages of the suit, Judge Kaplan said he must wait. The jurist disagreed she had not already shared explicit details.
“Ms. Giuffre’s complaint is neither ‘unintelligible’ nor ‘vague’ nor ‘ambiguous.’ It alleged discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances at three identifiable locations. It identifies to whom it attributes the sexual abuse,” wrote Kaplan.