The Duke of York is being sued in the US by Virginia Giuffre. She claims she was forced to have sex with him on three occasions when she was just 17. Andrew has not responded to the civil law suit
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Prince Andrew will maintain a “wall of silence” in the lead-up to a key court hearing on rape allegations against him, which his lawyers are also set to skip, sources revealed.
The Duke of York remains engaged in tense discussions with his legal team as they try to deal with an accusation of “rape in the first degree”.
He is being sued in the US by Virginia Giuffre.
She claims she was forced to have sex with him on three occasions when she was just 17 while being trafficked as a sex slave for paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who died in August 2019.
The duke, 61, has not responded to the civil law suit lodged in New York on August 9, choosing not to issue a public statement in the face of the controversy.
Ms Giuffre is claiming damages for emotional harm and distress, which could run into millions of pounds if her case successful.
By US law, Andrew must be served the legal papers in person, but as yet Ms Giuffre’s lawyers have been unable to approach him.
The US lawyers are now set to return to court on September 13 to apply for more time in a case that legal experts say could go on for “up to five years”.
The Mirror understands that Andrew’s lawyers will not be present at the hearing in New York.
The prince has always denied claims that he had sex with Ms Giuffre and said that he had no recollection of ever meeting her.
Andrew was forced to step down from all royal duties in November 2019 as the scandal engulfed the Royal Family.
He has grown “increasingly frustrated” with his legal team ordering him to stay silent while they investigate the civil suit.
But a source close to the case said the duke would continue with his “wall of silence” while his legal team “go through every single detail with exact precision to make sure there are no curve balls coming their way”.
Andrew has been named as a “person of interest” by investigators probing the sexual exploitation of young girls by Epstein and his former lover, Andrew’s long-time friend, Ghislaine Maxwell, 59.
A spokeswoman for the Duke of York said there was no comment on the civil case.