The husband,the doctor and the equerry:Andrew and Giuffre game plans

London:Prince Andrew,the Duke of York,has suggested that Virginia Roberts Giuffre is suffering from “false memories” in her claims that he sexually abused her and wants to question her husband and psychologist as witnesses,court documents have revealed.

His lawyers have asked to interview Dr Judith Lightfoot about Giuffre’s claims that she suffered “severe emotional distress and psychological harm” as a result of the prince’s alleged conduct.

Prince Andrew is accused of sexual abuse.

Prince Andrew is accused of sexual abuse.AP

They also want to question her husband,Robert Giuffre,under oath about her “alleged childhood trauma and abuse”,her relationship with the late American financier Jeffrey Epstein and his British socialite associate Ghislaine Maxwell,and any communication she has had with him about the civil case she is bringing against Andrew.

The prince’s lawyers state in court documents filed on Friday in the US (Saturday AEDT) that he vehemently denies Giuffre’s claims that he sexually assaulted her and sexually abused another victim in front of her.

In the first detailed indication of the strategy he will use to confront Giuffre’s allegations,Andrew has laid out a series of claims of his own,each with the potential to severely damage her testimony and credibility.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre,37,the most prominent and outspoken survivor of Jeffrey Epstein,posted a picture on Instagram posing in front of their new Perth home in Ocean Reef,with her husband Robert and their three children.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre,37,the most prominent and outspoken survivor of Jeffrey Epstein,posted a picture on Instagram posing in front of their new Perth home in Ocean Reef,with her husband Robert and their three children.Instagram

A US court is set to hear the case later this year,unless Giuffre accepts any offer of a multimillion-pound pay-off the prince might make to settle the case out of court and avoid further damaging the reputation of the monarchy.

Documents lodged with the New York court by his lawyer Melissa Lerner accuse Giuffre of helping to recruit under-age girls to have sex with Epstein,the prince’s former friend. The documents argue thatGiuffre,who claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew on three separate occasions in 2001,when she was 17,“may suffer from false memories”.

The prince also claims that any trauma Giuffre suffered at Epstein’s hands has been compounded by her own decision to speak openly about her past.

The move came as Andrew was photographed with his former wife,Sarah,Duchess of York,in his Range Rover driving from their residence in the grounds of Windsor Great Park. The duchess’ appearance by his side suggests that she continues to stand by him in his battle to clear his name.

Prince Andrew peers out from behind the door of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion in 2010 in a video published by the Mail on Sunday in 2019.

Prince Andrew peers out from behind the door of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan mansion in 2010 in a video published by the Mail on Sunday in 2019.Mail on Sunday

In a request for international judicial assistance,Andrew’s lawyers state that they need to interview Lightfoot,who is based in Australia,in order to test the truth of Giuffre’s claims that she was under threat of harm from Epstein and Maxwell and suffered “alleged severe emotional distress”.

They also want to question Lightfoot about the connection between any harm she may have suffered and the alleged conduct of the prince.

Andrew’s lawyers asked to see all of Lightfoot’s medical notes on Giuffre,her prescriptions and invoices.

Court documents

His lawyers state that the “contends that[Giuffre] may suffer from false memories,as evidenced by the fact that her claims regarding her time with Epstein and the circumstances under which[Andrew] allegedly assaulted her have repeatedly changed over the years”.

As part of their request,the prince’s lawyers asked to see all of Lightfoot’s medical notes on Giuffre,her prescriptions and invoices.

His lawyers will also useclaims heard at Maxwell’s recent sex trafficking trial that Giuffre helped recruit girls for Epstein.

Alison Nathan,the US district judge,announced on Saturday that Maxwell would be sentenced for sex trafficking on June 28,despite her defence team seeking a new trial after a member of the jury admitted after the verdict to having suffered sexual abuse in his childhood.

Andrew alleges that Giuffre’s claims are “an effort to deflect from her own participation in Epstein’s sex-trafficking scheme,including by recruiting young women (including at least one 14-year-old girl) to become sexual partners for Epstein”.

His lawyers state that Mr Giuffre met Virginia Roberts in Thailand in about 2002,“when she was attending a massage training course and recruiting one or more women to perform sexual acts for Jeffrey Epstein,who funded the trip”.

They add:“Mr Giuffre has relevant information regarding[Virginia Giuffre’s] domicile since 2002,her relationship with Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell,[Giuffre’s] role in recruiting underage girls for Epstein’s alleged sex-trafficking scheme and[Giuffre’s] allegations against[Prince Andrew].”

The strategy by the prince’s lawyers to implicate Giuffre in Epstein’s sordid activities,as well as questioning her memory of events and cast doubt over her claims of having suffered trauma,has its risks,leaving him open to claims of “victim-blaming” from women’s rights groups.

Robert Giuffre,husband of accuser

Twenty years ago,aged 19,Virginia Roberts met a martial arts tutor while studying massage techniques in Thailand.

They married in a Buddhist temple within 10 days of meeting. She credits their relationship as helping her find the courage to flee the clutches of Epstein,who had paid for her trip.

The newlyweds moved to Australia where they had three children,two boys and a girl. Mr Giuffre has defended in no uncertain terms any criticism of his wife.

It is understood Andrew’s lawyers will want to know what he learnt of her “alleged childhood trauma and abuse”,perhaps why she waited nearly 10 years to make her allegations about the prince.

They lived in New South Wales for 11 years before moving to the US for two years from 2013 to spend time in Florida and then Colorado.In 2019,they returned to Australia to live in a $1.9 million six-bedroom house with a swimming pool. Photographs of them together invariably show them in the small seaside town of Ocean Reef,just north of Perth,holding hands.

Dr Judith Lightfoot,accuser’s psychologist

As Giuffre’s psychologist,it is hoped Lightfoot can offer an insight into the mental state of the prince’s accuser.

According to court documents,Giuffre “sought counselling” from the Australian-based psychologist after she moved back to Australia.

The prince’s lawyers hope she will have “relevant information” about her abuse by Epstein and Maxwell,as well as her “alleged severe emotional distress and psychological harm”. They also want to question her about Giuffre’s claim to have been under threat of death or bodily harm from the late sex trafficker.

The lawyer’s letter states that “Dr Lightfoot’s records (or the lack thereof) reflecting” her allegations will be relevant to preparation of the prince’s defence. Other documents from the prince’s team have suggested Giuffre “may suffer from false memories”. Lightfoot should be questioned about that as well as matters discussed in sessions and any prescriptions.

It remains to be seen whether Lightfoot will be allowed to refuse access to such personal files.

Robert Olney,the prince’s equerry

Lawyers for Giuffre hope the equerry will know better than most about Andrew’s personal life.

His role until 2004 meant he was listed in Epstein’s “little black book” as the contact for the prince.

Giuffre’s lawyers claim that means there is a possibility he has information about the prince’s travel to Epstein’s properties.

Olney has appeared in the Court Circular as being “in attendance” with the prince on trips – including the US,Germany,Jordan,Istanbul,Bahrain and the Caribbean – while his boss was promoting British industry.

His LinkedIn profile says he went on to serve as commander at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst for two years and as an aviation operations commander in Afghanistan in 2013. He lives with his family in Marlow,Bucks,England,where he is also a coach for the local rugby club.

Since 2018,he has worked as the head of safety and business delivery at the British Civil Aviation Authority.

His wife told reporters yesterday:“I’m sorry,but Rob is not going to say anything,he’s got nothing to say.”

Shukri Walker,the Tramp nightclub witness

It was inevitable Giuffre’s lawyers would call Shukri Walker after she appeared to shoot down the prince’s claim he was at a Pizza Express party in Woking instead of dancing with Giuffre at Tramp nightclub in London.

A year after Andrew’sNewsnight interview,Walker told the FBI she saw him at the Mayfair club in 2001.

Walker said she remembered apologising after stepping on his foot. He was said to have replied:“No problem”. She claims she saw Giuffre,then 17,with the prince. “[Prince Andrew] looked like he was having a great time,” she said. “And he was with this young girl who was close to my own age,even a bit younger than me. The young woman wasn’t smiling.”

Documents from Giuffre’s lawyers say:“[She] would be relevant to this dispute because plaintiff contends that defendant abused her in London after visiting Tramp together,while defendant denies being at Tramp on the night in question or having ever met Plaintiff.”

Walker’s lawyer later said she was not sure of the exact date she saw him.

The Telegraph,London

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