Prince Andrew will face a two-day grilling with his sex accuser Virginia Roberts’ lawyers during a deposition for their high-profile New York court battle.
The Duke of York is set to meet lawyers representing Ms. Roberts in London on March 10, where he will testify under oath according to sources close to the royal.
‘We agreed to voluntarily produce the Duke for a deposition on March 10. Despite repeated requests, Ms. Giuffre still hasn’t committed to a date or location for her deposition,’ a source close to the Duke said on Saturday.
The news is coming just a day before the Queen, Andrew’s mother, celebrates her 70th year on the throne as part of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The Prince is being prepared by his UK-based legal team as he prepares to face a grilling over the span of two days by David Boies, 80, one of America’s most renowned attorneys, and Sigrid McCawley.
Andrew, who was stripped of all his military titles and royal peerages last month after the case was confirmed as going to trial, will be questioned about three alleged assaults in 2001.
Ms. Roberts claims in a civil suit that she was trafficked by paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein and forced to have sex with Andrew on three occasions when she was 17.
Ms. Roberts’ legal team could also question two witnesses based in Britain – Shukri Walker, who claims to have seen Andrew at Tramp nightclub in London at the time of the alleged assault, and Rob Olney, the Prince’s former personal assistant.
Mr. Boies is known as the ‘greatest deposition taker’ in America and has secured or won for clients nine settlements of more than a billion dollars. He represented Presidential candidate Al Gore after the disputed 2000 election and helped change the law in California to allow gay people to marry.
Mr. Boies has previously said his client and legal team were anticipating ‘confronting’ Andrew about his ‘denials and attempts to blame Ms. Giuffre for her own abuse at his deposition and at trial’.
Andrew’s deposition must be taken before a July 28 deadline set by the judge.
Should the case go to court, Mr. Boies said he ‘doesn’t think we would need’ Andrew’s ex-wife Sarah, the Duchess of York, or his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, to testify.
It will come as little solace for the Queen that her grandchildren will not be required to face the court as Andrew’s case is expected to dominate headlines throughout her Platinum Jubilee, which will mark the 70-year milestone of her reign.
Last month, Prince Andrew issued 41 denials in relation to Roberts’ case and rejected all allegations of wrongdoing.
The Duke maintains he has no recollection of ever meeting Ms. Roberts, and last week said he ‘lacks sufficient information to admit or deny’ whether a famous photograph of him with his arm around her waist in March 2001 ‘exists’.
In his official response, he stated a further 40 times that he ‘lacks sufficient information to admit or deny’ other claims. He also called for a trial by jury.
Giuffre, now 38, alleges she had sex with the prince when she was 17 and a minor under US law after meeting him through the late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in prison two years ago while awaiting trial for sex crimes.
She alleges that Andrew sexually assaulted her in March 2001, at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been jailed in the US for recruiting young girls to be sexually abused by Epstein.
The duke is also alleged to have sexually abused Ms. Giuffre during a visit to Epstein’s private island, Little St James, and on a separate occasion at the financier’s Manhattan mansion.
Last month, court documents revealed that US Judge Lewis A Kaplan had written letters to the Senior Master of the Queen’s Bench Division in the UK to request assistance in acquiring evidence for the civil claim filed by Ms. Giuffre.
The judge asked for Mr. Olney to be quizzed on topics such as Andrew’s communications with Maxwell, Epstein, and Ms. Giuffre, and his travel to Epstein’s homes.
In a separate letter to the High Court, Judge Kaplan also requested testimony from Ms Walker, on questions about the presence of the duke and Ms Giuffre at Tramp nightclub in March 2001 and any interactions the pair had.
The civil sex assault trial is scheduled to take place between September and December. The parties will need to confirm by July 28 whether they wish to proceed to trial.