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Prince Andrew asks for jury trial as he formally denies Virginia Giuffre’s sex assault claims

Prince Andrew has asked for a jury trial and denied the allegations against him as he officially responded to Virginia Giuffre’s sexual assault lawsuit.

Court documents filed in New York show he “demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint”.

Ms Giuffre accuses the Duke of York of forcing her to have sex more than two decades ago at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell.

The duke, 61, is being sued by Ms Giuffre, 38, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, in a US civil case.

He has always strongly denied the allegations against him.

Ms Giuffre claims “sexual assault and battery” by the duke and being trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was 17.

The alleged offences are said to have happened between 2000 and 2002 at Maxwell’s home, Epstein’s New York mansion and his private island.

In Wednesday’s document, Andrew’s lawyers formally set out his response to various claims and said he denied Ms Giuffre’s sexual assault allegations.

The document also sets out 12 defences.

These include that the case should be dismissed because Ms Giuffre is a resident of Australia; because too much time has passed; because of “her own wrongful conduct”; and because she gave up her rights after signing an agreement with Epstein.

The document also tries to undermine Clause 38 of Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit, in which she points to a photograph of Prince Andrew and Ms Giuffre as a teenager, along with Ghislaine Maxwell, as proof that he knew her.

Clause 38 says: “The below photograph depicts Prince Andrew, Plaintiff, and Maxwell at Maxwell’s home prior to Prince Andrew sexually abusing Plaintiff.”

In response Andrew’s lawyers said: “Prince Andrew lacks sufficient information to admit or deny the allegations contained in paragraph thirty-eight of the Complaint.”

A trial date is pencilled in for between September and December this year.

Earlier this month, Prince Andrew failed to use that 2009 deal to get the case thrown out.

His lawyers had argued Ms Giuffre waived her right to sue when she signed a $500,000 settlement.

It included an agreement to “release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge” Epstein and “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant”.

However, the judge rejected the duke’s bid and ruled the case could proceed.

‘Demands a trial by jury’

Buckingham Palace responded by removing the duke’s military titles and patronages and said he would fight the case as a private individual.

The new court document concludes: “Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the Complaint.”

The duke’s filing was an “answer”, a document common in US cases in which defendants deny an accusation or say they lack enough information to comment.

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‘Continues to blame the victim’

Ms Giuffre’s lawyer said they were looking forward to “confronting” the prince about his “denials”.

David Boies said: “Prince Andrew’s Answer continues his approach of denying any knowledge or information concerning the claims against him, and purporting to blame the victim of the abuse for somehow bringing it on herself.

“We look forward to confronting Prince Andrew with his denials and attempts to blame Ms Giuffre for her own abuse at his deposition and at trial.”

Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his cell in 2019, while Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted in December of recruiting underage girls to be abused by the financier.

She is seeking a retrial after one jury member revealed they had been sexually abused.

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