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A federal judge has set a deadline for Prince Andrew to answer questions under oath in a civil lawsuit brought on by vocal Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan ruled Monday that all depositions and discovery in the case—including a potential deposition from Prince Andrew—would need to be completed by July 14, 2022. He also determined that a pre-trial order would need to be submitted by July 28, 2022, according to court documents obtained by Fox News.
“I applaud Judge Kaplan’s decision to schedule depositions and move my case against Prince Andrew forward,” Giuffre said in a statement to Oxygen.com. “No one is above the law, especially not a member of the Royal family.”
The new deadlines issued by the judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, signal progress in the civil suit against Prince Andrew.
Under the new scheduling order, Giuffre’s attorneys will need to question Prince Andrew outside of court and submit the deposition by the deadline, according to the documents also obtained by CNN.
Giuffre has accused the Duke of York of sexually assaulting her as an underage teenager on three separate occasions while in the company of Epstein, a convicted sex offender, and his alleged madam Ghislaine Maxwell.
According to the lawsuit obtained by Oxygen.com, Giuffre, then 17, traveled with Epstein and Maxwell to Maxwell’s London home where she said she was “forced” to “have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will.”
She alleged the British royal also sexually assaulted her at Epstein’s New York mansion and again during a trip to Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Prince Andrew’s actions, described above, constitute extreme and outrageous conduct that shocks the conscience,” the lawsuit alleges. “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.”
Giuffre is seeking unspecified damages for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress in the suit, which her attorneys have said was “severe and lasting.”
Prince Andrew has adamantly denied the allegations against him in the past, telling the the BBC in 2019 that he had “no recollection” of ever meeting Giuffre.
“I’ve said consistently and frequently that we never had any sort of sexual contact whatsoever,” he said.
Epstein died in 2019 after taking his own life in a federal jail cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell, a British socialite who Prince Andrew has said introduced him to Epstein, is slated to go to trial next month on charges of sex trafficking, conspiracy and perjury for her alleged role in the case. She has pleaded not guilty to the allegations against her.
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