Prince Andrew must make himself available to answer questions under oath by 14 July next year in a civil lawsuit brought by a woman who has accused him of sexually abusing her when she was a teenager.
While not specified in the court papers, the Duke of York and his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, are both expected to answer questions under oath. Depositions must be completed on or before 14 luglio, said the district judge Lewis Kaplan, who serves in the southern district of New York.
The Queen’s platinum jubilee celebrations will take place in June, potentially setting up a clash with the duke’s legal issues over the summer.
Andrew vehemently denies allegations he sexually assaulted Giuffre when she was a teenager. She is seeking unspecified damages from the 61-year-old, whose lawyer has dismissed the accusations as “baseless”.
In the scheduling order, signed by lawyers for both parties, the judge also ruled that a pretrial order, which sets out the course of the case, is due by 28 luglio. No additional parties are allowed to join the case after 15 dicembre.
Giuffre claims she was trafficked by the convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, the duke’s former friend, to have sex with the royal when she was 17 and a minor under US law.
Andrew has not been charged with any crime. Prima questo mese the Metropolitan police said they were taking no action over Giuffre’s claims.
The case has proved ruinous for the duke’s image. In a BBC Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis a novembre 2019, Andrew denied claims he had slept with Giuffre on three separate occasions and said: “I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened.
“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
The duke also said he had no memory of a well-known photograph of him with his arm around Giuffre’s waist and has questioned whether it was his own hand in the image.
In the fallout from the interview, the royal was criticised for showing a lack of empathy towards Epstein’s victims and a lack of remorse over his friendship with the disgraced financier.