A federal judge has rejected an attempt by Prince Andrew’s legal team to include a news article describing accuser Virginia Giuffre as a “money-hungry sex kitten” as they attempt to have her civil lawsuit against him dismissed.
In a filing on 16 December, US District Court Lewis Kaplan called the request to include several press clippings an apparent “public relations” stunt. A request by the senior royal’s legal team to include Ms Giuffre’s “alleged manuscript” of The Billionaire’s Playboy Club, a 139-page memoir detailing accusations against pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, was also rejected by the judge.
The attempts to include the documents “appear to have been submitted for whatever public relations purposes defendants’ advisors may have had in mind,” the judge wrote.
Ms Giuffre, 38, has claimed she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with the Queen’s son in 2001 when she was 17 years old. Prince Andrew has denied the allegations against him.
Ms Giuffre is seeking unspecified damages in a civil suit against the prince.
In October court filings, attorneys for Prince Andrew cited reports from The New York Daily News, The New York Post and The Daily Mail to support a motion to dismiss the case. The lawyers alleged that the articles undermine Ms Guiffre’s claims.
The motion to dismiss includes quotes made by Ms Giuffre’s ex-boyfriend Philip Guderyon to the New York Daily News in 2015.
The article, which is headlined “Jeffrey Epstein accuser was not a sex slave, but a money-hungry sex kitten, her former friends say”, quotes Mr Guderyon as calling Ms Giuffre the “head b****” at the financier’s Palm Beach mansion.
“She’d have like nine or 10 girls she used to bring to him,” he said, according to the Daily News.
Prince Andrew’s attorneys also argued that an interview Ms Giuffre gave toThe Daily Mail in 2011 for an alleged payment of $160,000 was among her attempts to “profit” from allegations against Epstein and others “by selling stories and photographs to the press and entering into secret agreements to resolve her claims against her alleged abusers.”
“It is unfortunate, but undeniable, that sensationalism and innuendo have prevailed over the truth,” the Duke’s attorneys argued in October filings.
Ms Giuffre’s legal team has said the filings amount to an attempt to “smear” her.
However, Judge Kaplan did agree to allow evidence on Ms Giuffre’s 2009 settlement with Epstein which is central to Prince Andrew’s argument to dismiss the claims against him. A federal judge in a separate case had ordered that details from the settlement be made public absent any objections from Epstein’s estate.
Ms Giuffre’s attempt to dismiss the settlement from her case against Prince Andrew is “completely without merit”, Judge Kaplan wrote.
“The court is asked to take notice of only its existence, its authenticity, and the words it contains – not its legal effect and not the truth of any of its ‘statements’,” said the judge, adding that there is no dispute among the parties over its authenticity.
Ms Giuffre’s attorneys have argued that the Epstein settlement is “irrelevant” to the current case.
Epstein, 66, killed himself inside a New York prison cell in 2019 as he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges. His former girlfriend, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, is currently on trial on criminal sex trafficking charges following allegations that she recruited teenagers for Epstein to abuse from 1994 to 2004. She has pleaded not guilty.
Prince Andrew’s representatives did not provide comment to The Independent.