London — A lawsuit accusing Britain’s Prince Andrew of sexual abuse is to go before a federal judge in New York on Monday. Queen Elizabeth’s middle son, the Duke of York, has always denied the allegations, and he has not been charged with any crime. Andrew’s lawyers have been working behind the scenes to get the lawsuit thrown out.

As CBS News’ Holly Williams reports, Prince Andrew’s friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has already brought scandal to the royal family. Now a court in New York must decide whether he was properly served with legal documents in a civil suit alleging sexual assault.

Spencer Kuvin, an attorney for nine Epstein accusers but not the plaintiff in the case against Prince Andrew, told CBS News that it was unlikely the royal would be appearing in a courtroom any time soon.

Kuvin said that even if the court does allow for Prince Andrew to be deposed in the case, it is, “likely a deposition like that would be under seal, and most people will not see that until the case were to go to trial, if at all.”


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Andrew’s accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, told CBS News’ Gayle King last year that the prince “needs to be held accountable — we need to show the world that the rich and mighty can fall, too.”

Giuffre claims that Epstein and his alleged accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell forced her to have sex with their friend, Prince Andrew, on several occasions, including when she was a minor.

Epstein’s 2019 death in a New York jail cell was ruled a suicide. Maxwell is now awaiting trial, accused of sex trafficking underage girls, including Giuffre. She denies the allegations.

In an interview with the BBC in 2019 Prince Andrew said he’d had no sexual contact with Giuffre. He claimed he had “no recollection” of meeting her “whatsoever,” and he even suggested that a photograph, apparently showing them together, might have been doctored.

Britain’s Prince Andrew is seen in a file photo with Virginia Giuffre (center) and Ghislaine Maxwell.

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But with Giuffre, Prince Andrew has come up against a determined accuser.

“I know that Virginia, as a victim, has been very vocal about wanting the world to know her truth and what happened to her,” said Kuvin.

There’s been no official comment from Prince Andrew recently.

The case can only go forward if the court finds that he was properly served with the legal documents, and CBS News understands that his lawyers dispute that was done, because the papers were left with a police officer at the duke’s residence and sent by email.

If the court does decide to allow for the prince’s deposition, he will be required to respond within 21 days.

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