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Prince Andrew has been officially served with a lawsuit by a woman who alleges the Duke of York sexually assaulted her three times when she was a teenager.
Virginia Giuffre, who has accused Prince Andrew of first sexually assaulting her in 2001, served the British royal with newly filed court papers on Thursday. Cesar Augusto Sepulveda, Giuffre’s process server, served the papers late last month to Prince Andrew, whose full name is Andrew Albert Christian Edward, according to an affidavit of service obtained by Oxygen.com.
The civil documents were left with a Metropolitan Police Officer guarding the gates of Windsor’s Royal Lodge around 9:30 a.m.on Aug. 27.
Last month, Giuffre announced she is suing Prince Andrew over the alleged abuse. Her legal team previously accused the 61-year-old prince of intentionally ducking the serving of the papers.
"Process servers have shown up at his residence, and they have refused to take the summons and refused to let the process servers in to serve," David Boies, one of Giuffre’s lawyers, told ABC News. "He has stopped coming out in public. He has been moving around."
Local tabloids, who photographed the royal earlier this week amid the ongoing scandal and scorned his evasiveness, dubbed him the “Runaway Prince.” Lawyers for Prince Andrew, however, questioned the case's merit and blasted the methods employed by Giuffre’s legal team.
"[Giuffre's lawyers] have made several public, indeed well-publicized, attempts at irregular service of these proceedings in this jurisdiction, in at least one case accompanied by a media representative," Gary Bloxsome wrote in a Sept. 6 memo to judicial officials. "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 authorized to conduct litigation] who are known to have acted for the Duke.”
Giuffre alleges the 2001 assaults took place on a private island and at the New York mansion owned by late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. She was 17 at the time.
In one instance, Giuffre alleged she was forced to sit on Prince Andrew’s lap as he molested her. Giuffre accused Prince Andrew, Epstein, and jailed socialite Ghislaine Maxwell of forcing her to “have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will” at Maxwell’s London residence on a separate occasion. Maxwell's sex trafficking trial is set to begin in New York on Nov. 29. She's pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.
“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,” the complaint alleges. “Twenty years ago Prince Andrew's wealth, power, position, and connections enable 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.”
Between 2000 and 2002, Epstein flew Giuffre via commercial airlines and private jets to several international locations where she was sexually abused — including Spain, Morocco, and France — according to the civil lawsuit.
In September 2002, Epstein allegedly sent Giuffre to Thailand to fetch a young girl to bring back to the U.S. Instead, she fled to Australia once abroad to escape the financier’s alleged sex-trafficking ring.
Epstein, 66, was jailed in July 2019 on sex trafficking charges. He was found dead in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 with a makeshift noose constricting his neck. A medical examiner later ruled his death a suicide.
Prince Andrew claims to have first met Epstein as early as 1999. According to flight logs cited in court documents, he frequented Epstein’s private island, Little St. James; the two appeared at a number of social functions together in the past. Both Epstein and Maxwell were guests at Prince Andrew’s 40th birthday party. The royal later threw Maxwell a surprise party in Sandringham in Norfolk and invited Epstein to his own daughter’s 18th birthday party.
Former employees of Epstein have also confirmed sightings of the prince on the Caribbean island in sworn testimony, according to Giuffre's lawsuit.
"I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me," Giuffre said last month. "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."
In August, British authorities echoed this notion when they announced they’d investigate claims of sexual abuse against the royal.
“No one is above the law,” Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick told U.K. talk radio station LBC. “I am aware that currently there is a lot more commentary in the media and an apparent civil case going on in America and we will of course, again, review our position.”
In 2019, Prince Andrew released a statement announcing he'd be taking a step back from his public duties, acknowledging he intended to assist U.S. authorities with their criminal case involving Epstein and his co-conspirators.
“I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein,” he stated. “His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathize with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives.”
The Duke of York has denied sexually abusing Giuffre and previously claimed he doesn’t ever recall meeting Giuffre, despite being photographed with her years prior.
"I've said consistently and frequently that we never had any sort of sexual contact," he told ABC News in 2019.
A pretrial teleconference hearing in the matter is scheduled for Sept. 13 in New York, according to additional court filings.
Attorneys representing Giuffre weren’t immediately available for comment when contacted by Oxygen.com on Friday.
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