A judge has denied Prince Andrew’s bid to have Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against him dismissed and he will now face a civil case in the US over accusations of sexual assault.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan rejected the argument of lawyers for the royal that he was absolved of liability due to a settlement reached between Ms Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein more than a decade ago.

In his ruling, Judge Kaplan said the key phrase Andrew’s lawyers relied upon – that “other potential defendants” were covered by the settlement deal – was “far from self evident for a number of reasons”.

“[Andrew] argues that he ‘could have been included’ as a ‘potential defendant’ in the Florida case because Ms Giuffre made a general reference to ‘royalty’ in her Florida complaint, even though it did not name Prince Andrew as a defendant nor even mention his name,” Judge Kaplan says in the decision.

The judge added that “there is no basis” that Andrew could have been included as a defendant in the 2009 case.

Ms Giuffre is suing Prince Andrew for battery and infliction of emotional distress. She alleges that Jeffrey Epstein forced her to have sex with him and that he was aware she was only 17 at the time.

Prince Andrew strongly denies the allegations. He has said Ms Giuffre is seeking a “payday at his expense”.



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