The judge in the Prince Andrew sexual abuse civil case is planning to hold a trial between September and December in 2022.
New York Judge Lewis Kaplan made the comments in only the second hearing involving both the Duke of York and Virginia Giuffre’s legal teams.
During the short telephone hearing, Judge Kaplan said that “in another era, I would probably set a trial date today but you are aware of the difficulties of getting juries”, referring to precautions now being taken because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He went on to say: “I would anticipate September to December period (next year).”
Both sides confirmed that they would anticipate requesting depositions, or evidence, from eight to 12 individuals.
On 29 October, Prince Andrew’s legal team filed documents asking the judge to dismiss the case.
A document, signed by lawyer Andrew Brettler, said: “Accusing a member of the world’s best known Royal Family of serious misconduct has helped Giuffre create a media frenzy online and in the traditional press.
“It is unfortunate, but undeniable, that sensationalism and innuendo have prevailed over the truth.
“Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him.
“Epstein’s abuse of Giuffre does not justify her public campaign against Prince Andrew.”
Ms. Giuffre, 38, is suing the Duke of York, accusing him of forcing her to have sex when she was underage at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and former girlfriend of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The lawsuit also alleges that Prince Andrew abused Ms. Giuffre at Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan and one of Epstein’s private islands in the Virgin Islands.
Prince Andrew “unequivocally denies” the allegations.