Prince Andrew might try and get sex abuse claims thrown out by claiming diplomatic immunity

Lawyers say he has a 'strong case'

(Image credit: Chris Jackson)

Lawyers say he has a 'strong case'

Prince Andrew's lawyers are considering claiming diplomatic immunity in the ongoing case with Virginina Giuffre.

Last week, Giuffre filed an official lawsuit against the Duke which claims that he sexually abused her when she 17 years old. This is an allegation that he has always denied.

In news today, reports show that his lawyers are considering claiming diplomatic immunity in order to get the claims dismissed from court altogether.

Giuffre alleges that she was a raped by Andrew while being held as a sex slave by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein in 2001. She was under 18 at the time, and claims that the Prince was aware that she was a part of the billionaire Epstein's trafficking ring.

Andrew has consistently denied the claims, famously denying ever meeting her during his controversial 2019 Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis.

A lawyer representing Epstein's victims, Spencer Kuvin, indicated that Andrew's lawyers would be in a good position and have a ‘strong case’ to claim diplomatic immunity.

This is because when Giuffre claims the rape took place, he was a trade envoy. Diplomatic immunity means that, if you're a diplomat, you are entitled to safe passage and immunity from prosecution. It was developed as a means of maintaining relations from government to government during periods of difficulty or conflict.

Speaking to The Mirror, Mr Kuvin said: "Ms Giuffre’s lawyers have huge barriers to overcome to get her lawsuit anywhere near a jury."

"If the Duke engages in the case at all, his legal team will undoubtedly file a motion to dismiss the complaint on numerous different grounds."

"For sure, they would argue diplomatic immunity. They would have a strong case."

At current, Prince Andrew is staying at Balmoral with Sarah Ferguson, his ex-wife. It's been reported by a source close to him that he is in a ‘cheerful and relaxed’ mood about the upcoming lawsuit.

Giuffre's legal claim states that Epstein and an associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, trafficked her to London in 2001. She says that she was sexually abused by Prince Andrew three times - once in London, once in new York and once in the US Virgin Islands.

Epstein died in prison 2019 after being arrested for trafficking. Maxwell is currently in prison awaiting trial for similar charges, yet denies all allegations made against her.

It is not known, at current, when - or if - the trial will take place, how long the court proceedings will go on for, or whether the Prince will be legally required to make an appearance.

A friend close to Andrew reportedly said that his legal team are advising him to ‘keep calm and carry on’.

Speaking to The Sun, they said: "The legal process could go on for years but that’s not his fault. He will respond if required to by law, as he has always said."

More as we have it.

Ally Head
Senior Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Senior Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, nine-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She's won a BSME for her sustainability work, regularly hosts panels and presents for events like the Sustainability Awards, and is a stickler for a strong stat, too, seeing over nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.