PRINCE Andrew's legal team have reportedly claimed that he hasn't been legally served by his sexual abuse accuser Virginia Roberts – and plan to get the case tossed out.
Lawyers for Roberts told The Sun on Friday that they had served the prince with papers for their sex assault lawsuit.
The Duke of York, 61, was served at his Royal Lodge mansion in Windsor last month, according to a document filed Friday.
Roberts, 38, who is one of the most well-known Epstein victims, is accusing the prince of abusing her three times when she was under the age of 18.
Andrew, however, has strongly denied the claims in the past and has said he doesn't recall meeting Roberts – who also goes by her married name Giuffre.
His lawyers claim the court papers were not properly served and plan to boycott a Monday court hearing, it was reported Friday.
Andrew's team also plans to attempt to get the case thrown out on a technicality related to a confidential settlement Roberts signed in 2009, according to the Daily Mail.
She reportedly reached a settlement with Epstein in Florida that could contain clauses that would prevent her from taking actions against individuals she's accusing of being the late financier's co-conspirators.
One of those people is Alan Dershowitz, who previously represented Epstein and was accused of sexual assault by Roberts in 2019.
She reportedly dropped the claim because of the Epstein settlement last month.
Dershowitz has lodged a request with the Manhattan court dealing with the case against Prince Andrew to have Roberts' settlement unsealed because he believes it'll help get the case against him tossed.
"We strongly suspect that Virginia and her lawyers may have committed fraud on the court by filing a lawsuit against Prince Andrew after dismissing the battery case against me," Dershowitz told the Mail.
"The same reasons for dismissing the case against me seem to apply to Prince Andrew.
"These documents should get the charges against Prince Andrew thrown out. It's an airtight defense for Prince Andrew and a potential fraud on the court."
Roberts' lawyer, David Boies, said he could not comment on the specifics of her settlement, but added that there is "no evidence that Prince Andrew was intended to be covered by the release."
HEARING SET FOR MONDAY
Roberts' explosive lawsuit was filed in New York on August 9. The first hearing in the case is set for Monday before district judge Lewis Kaplan. He will also decide whether Andrew has been officially served.
Boies told The Sun he will ask the judge to set a date by which Andrew has to reply. He added: “We will make a report to the court of what we have done.
“If the court confirms Andrew has been served, the judge will give him a deadline to respond.
“I don’t believe his legal team are going to ignore this but that’s what they have done consistently, so maybe that will happen. If Andrew doesn’t respond there can be a default judgment against him.”
Boies faces a conference call with Judge Kaplan in New York at 4pm EST on Monday.
Andrew is currently at Balmoral with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.
His lawyers have objected to the “regrettable” methods used by Roberts’ team to serve him, and suggested they were not legally binding.
Gary Bloxsome, from Blackfords LLP who are believed to be representing the Duke, made the claims in a letter to Barbara Fontaine, obtained by ABC News.
He said: “[Virginia Roberts' lawyers] have made several public, well-publicised, attempts at irregular service of these proceedings in this jurisdiction, in at least one case accompanied by a media representative.
“These have included attempted personal service of our client at his home, the instruction of a private process server, and attempts to email the proceedings not only to this firm, but to barristers (who are not authorised to conduct litigation) known to have acted for the duke.”
Bloxsome maintains that under British law, a valid request for assistance from UK court officials must come from a judicial or diplomatic officer in the US.
If the judge overseeing the case made a request, Mr Bloxsome said “it is likely that our client will be content to agree to a convenient method of alternative service”.
He added: “However, absent being satisfied of some very good reason to do so, our client is highly unlikely to be prepared to agree to any form of alternative service while the approach to service of these proceedings remains irregular and the viability of the claim remains open to doubt.”
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