Prince Andrew has been served with legal papers for the bombshell sexual assault lawsuit brought by the Jeffrey Epstein accuser who claims she was raped by the prince as a teen.
According to a document filed on Friday, an affidavit of service was served at the Duke of York’s home in Windsor, England, on August 27.
An agent working on behalf of Virginia Roberts handed the papers over to police officers at the property, who agreed to hand them to the prince, according to the papers.
The agent had tried the day before but was rebuffed and told that staff had been ‘primed’ not to accept any documents, the papers state.
When the agent returned the next day, the police officers at the gate of Royal Lodge, Andrew’s official residence, changed their mind and allowed him to leave the paperwork.
Roberts, an alleged victim of convicted pedophile Epstein, filed a lawsuit against the Queen’s son in federal court in Manhattan, New York, on August 9.
She claims she was forced to have sex with the royal three times when she was 17 – under the age of consent in the US.
Andrew has long denied the allegations and has not been charged with any crime.
In a car-crash 2019 interview with the BBC, he claimed he had no memory of ever meeting Roberts, now a 38-year-old mother-of-three who lives in Australia and goes by her married name, Virginia Giuffre.
A now-infamous photo, taken inside the London townhouse of Epstein’s alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell, shows Andrew smiling for the camera with his arm around Roberts’ waist while Maxwell stands in the background.
Scroll down for the full court documents
Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts, aged 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell at Ghislaine Maxwell’s townhouse in London, Britain, in 2001. Prince Andrew was served at his home in Britain with paperwork for the bombshell sexual assault lawsuit
According to a document filed on Friday (above), an affidavit of service was served at the Duke of York’s home in Windsor, England on August 27
Virginia Roberts (left) claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17. Prince Andrew (right in April) has denied the allegations and has not been charged
The documents filed on Friday state that Cesar Sepulveda with British corporate intelligence company GCW intelligence went to Andrew’s home on August 26 at 9.30am where he met with security staff at the gate, handed over a business card and was asked to wait.
The document says that ‘after some time’ Sepulveda met with a Metropolitan police officer who tried to call to see whether he could be let up.
After more time passed, Andrew’s head of security arrived and had ‘apparently experienced the same difficulties and could not raise anyone in charge there’.
The document states: ‘The Metropolitan Police Officer/head of security could not locate the defendants private secretary, or anyone senior and the dependent was told that the security there had been instructed not to allow anyone attending there for the purpose of serving court papers onto the grounds of the property and at the time they had been told not to accept service of any court process.’
Sepulveda said the officers said that anything he left with them ‘would not be forwarded to the defendant and it appeared from the attendance that the security staff had already been primed not to allow anyone access onto the property to serve court process and had been instructed not to accept any service’.
The following day Sepulveda returned to the Royal Lodge and a police officer at the entrance called a different supervisor who said that the documents could be left with the cops at the gate.
The material would then be ‘forwarded on to the legal team’.
The document states that Sepulveda ‘did enquire whether it was possible to meet personally with the defendant, but he was told that was not possible and although (Sepulveda) did ask the whereabouts of the defendant, the Metropolitan Police Officer said that he could not answer any questions.’
Prince Andrew with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson leaving Windsor to drive to the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland Wednesday
Prince Andrew walking with Jeffrey Epstein in Central Park, New York City in 2011 after the friends left Epstein’s home in Manhattan
Timeline of another dramatic month in the Prince Andrew case
- August 9: Virginia Giuffre files a civil case in New York claiming Prince Andrew sexually abused her aged 17
- August 10: Andrew arrives at Balmoral with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, and is joined by Eugenie the next day
- August 10: US lawyers were allegedly trying to hold him up on his horse to serve him papers before he left.
- August 12: Dame Cressida Dick says she has told Met Police detectives to review the claims against Andrew
- August 13: Ms Giuffre’s lawyer says Andrew will be served papers in person under the Hague Convention
- August 14: Epstein’s telecoms specialist says he will swear on oath that he saw Andrew groping Ms Giuffre
- August 15: Andrew’s friends say he is ‘cheerful and relaxed’ over the case in and will remain silent
- August 16: A source close to the US probe into Jeffrey Epstein says they view Andrew as a ‘person of interest’
- September 7: Andrew leaves Royal Lodge in Windsor and travels nearly 500 miles to Balmoral in Scotland
- September 10: A court document filed by Virginia Roberts’ legal team says Andrew was served with the paperwork on August 27.
- September 13: First telephone conference in the case is scheduled at Manhattan Federal Court in New York
- December 8: Deadline for Andrew to be served with court papers in person under the Hague Convention
Service of the papers starts the clock ticking for Andrew to respond or face a default judgement.
Normally defendants have 21 days to respond but a judge may extend that given that the Duke is not in the US.
The development comes ahead of the first hearing in the case which is set for Monday when Andrew’s lawyers could identify themselves for the first time.
Andrew was last spotted leaving Windsor Wednesday and heading to the Queen’s estate in Balmoral, Scotland, for a lunch summit with the Queen.
The royal had reportedly been laying low and trying to avoid multiple attempts by Roberts’ legal team to serve him with the papers.
Under the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR), papers must be served on all defendants within 120 days after a civil complaint is filed at court.
Otherwise the action can be dismissed unless the plaintiff can ‘show good cause for the delay’.
US legal experts have said that, under the Geneva Convention, Andrew or his legal team – if he nominated them – must be served with the papers in person.
Roberts’ attorney David Boies told The Sun the legal team have been trying to serve the royal with the papers for the last month and that the prince and his team had avoided ‘multiple attempts.’
But, in the end, Boise said they managed to send them to the prince in five different ways.
As well as handing them to the police officers at the gate of his Windsor residence, a copy was posted to his address via Royal Mail, a copy emailed to his US and UK lawyers, a copy emailed to the Duke of York’s office and a copy emailed to his lawyers via Barbara Fontaine, Senior Master of the Queen’s Bench Division.
Boies said Andrew’s lawyers had confirmed receipt of the copy sent via Fontaine – who was appointed by the Queen.
Boies said he doesn’t think the prince’s legal team can ‘ignore this.’
‘We will make a report to the court of what we have done. If the court confirms Andrew has been served, the judge will give him a deadline to respond,’ he told The Sun.
‘I don’t really believe his legal team are going to ignore this – but that’s what they have done consistently, so maybe that will happen.
‘If Andrew doesn’t respond there can be a default judgement against him.’
However, Gary Bloxsome, a lawyer with UK law firm Blackfords LLP who is said to be representing Andrew, wrote in a letter to Fontaine dated September 6 that the actions of Roberts’ legal team were ‘regrettable’ and did not follow the right procedure.
‘[Giuffre’s lawyers] have made several public, indeed well-publicised, attempts at irregular service of these proceedings in this jurisdiction, in at least one case accompanied by a media representative,’ wrote Bloxsome in the letter obtained by ABC News.
‘These have included attempted personal service of our client at his home, the instruction of a private process server, and attempts to email the proceedings not only to this firm, but to barristers (who are not authorised to conduct litigation) who are known to have acted for the Duke,’ he continued. ‘This is regrettable.’
Bloxsome argued that, under UK legal procedures, a valid request for assistance from UK court officials must come from a judicial or diplomatic officer in the US, rather than Roberts’ attorneys.
Prince Andrew (left) arrives at Balmoral with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in the back of a Range Rover
If the judge overseeing the case makes such a request ‘then it is likely that our client will be content to agree to a convenient method of alternative service,’ Bloxsome wrote.
‘However, absent being satisfied of some very good reason to do so, our client is highly unlikely to be prepared to agree to any form of alternative service while the approach to service of these proceedings remains irregular and the viability of the claim remains open to doubt,’ Bloxsome added.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who will hold Monday’s hearing, will determine whether Andrew has been officially served with the papers.
Roberts last month accused Andrew in a federal court in New York of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The lawsuit claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times on the orders of his former friend Epstein.
It was filed under a law in New York that relates to child abuse as Roberts was considered a minor at the time under the state law.
It lists Roberts as the plaintiff and the defendant as ‘Prince Andrew, Duke of York a/k/a Andrew Albert Christian Edward’ as the defendant.
The lawsuit claims that ‘Prince Andrew intentionally committed battery by sexually assaulting Plaintiff when she was a minor.
In a car-crash 2019 interview with the BBC (above), Andrew claimed he had no memory of ever meeting Roberts
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey on March 11 2019 in London, England
‘On multiple occasions Prince Andrew intentionally touched (Roberts) in an offensive and sexual manner without her consent’.
The allegations says they are ‘including but not limited to sexual misconduct as defined (as) rape in the third degree, rape in the first degree’.
In a statement to ABC News when the lawsuit was filed, Roberts said: ‘I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me.
‘The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but one can reclaim her life by speaking out and demanding justice.
‘I did not come to this decision lightly. As a mother and a wife, my family comes first.
‘I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates. But I knew that if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down’.
Roberts has made similar allegations before in US court documents but this is the first time she has sued the Duke directly.
She claims that the first time she was forced to have sex with Andrew was at Maxwell’s London townhouse.
The second time, in early 2001, was at Epstein’s New York mansion.
The lawsuit states: ‘During this encounter, Maxwell forced Plaintiff, a child, and another victim to sit on Prince Andrew’s lap as Prince Andrew touched her.
‘During his visit to New York, Prince Andrew forced Plaintiff to engage in sex acts against her will’.
The third incident was on Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean.
During each incident, Roberts was ‘compelled by express or implied threats by Epstein, Maxwell and/or Prince Andrew to engage in sexual acts’ with the Duke.
Roberts ‘feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew due to their powerful connections, wealth, and authority’, it is claimed.
Roberts (pictured) claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew on three occasions when she was just 17 – under the age of consent in the US
Andrew allegedly had sex with Roberts knowing she was a victim of sex trafficking, it is claimed.
The Duke also knew her age from ‘communications with Epstein and Maxwell’.
The lawsuit claims: ‘Prince Andrew sexually abused (Roberts) for the purpose of gratifying his sexual desires.’
The two formal allegations are battery and infliction of emotional distress.
Under the claim for battery, the lawsuit states Andrew’s actions ‘constitute sexual offenses as defined in (New York law) including but not limited to sexual misconduct as defined (as) rape in the third degree, rape in the first degree’.
It also claims the Duke’s conduct amounted to ‘forcible touching, sexual abuse in the third degree, and sexual abuse in the first degree’.
The ‘sexual assault’ Roberts caused her ‘significant emotional and psychological distress and harm’, it is claimed.
The lawsuit states: ‘As a direct and proximate result of Prince Andrew’s criminal acts, Plaintiff has in the past and will in the future continue to suffer substantial damages, including extreme emotional distress, humiliation, fear, psychological trauma, loss of dignity and self-esteem, and invasion of her privacy’.
The filing mentions that Andrew has failed to cooperate with the criminal investigation by the FBI into Epstein and Maxwell, despite promising to do so in his disastrous BBC Newsnight interview.
The lawsuit states: ‘In this country no person, whether President or Prince, is above the law, and no person, no matter how powerless or vulnerable, can be deprived of the law’s protection.
‘Twenty years ago Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her.
‘It is long past the time for him to be held to account.’
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2000. Epstein was found hanging in his cell in Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York in August 2019 while awaiting trial
Under the section of the lawsuit that deals with the formal allegation of intentional infliction of emotional distress, the lawsuit is withering about the Duke.
It says: ‘Prince Andrew’s actions, described above, constitute extreme and outrageous conduct that shocks the conscience.
‘Prince Andrew’s sexual abuse of a child who he knew was a sex-trafficking victim, and when he was approximately 40 years old, goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is intolerable in a civilized community’.
The lawsuit claims that Andrew was one of the ‘powerful men’ who Epstein loaned Roberts out to for sex.
The document accuses the Duke of ‘publicly feigning ignorance about the scope of Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation and sympathy for Epstein’s victims’ then refusing to cooperate with the FBI.
Andrew stepped away from royal duties after his friendship with Epstein surfaced in 2019.
The prince was spotted meeting up with Epstein in 2011 – following Epstein’s 2008 conviction for child prostitution. He has said he regrets his friendship with Epstein.
Epstein was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan August 2019 while awaiting trial on new charges of sexually abusing girls as young as 14 and young women in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.
His death was ruled a suicide but his attorneys and some family members claim he was murdered to stop him from sharing what he knows about other high profile, powerful people.
His alleged accomplice Maxwell, 59, was arrested in July 2020 on federal sex trafficking charges.
She is expected to stand trial in November accused of procuring girls as young as 14 for Epstein to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.
The British-born socialite denies the allegations.