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MemberSeptember 19, 2021 at 8:25 am
For weeks, lawyers acting for a woman who alleges she was sexually abused by Prince Andrew have been trying to alert him to their plans.
It has been a drawn-out process involving email auto-replies and courier receipts.
To serve a member of the Royal Family once meant to do one’s duty for Queen and country.
But a month-long chase by US lawyers to find Prince Andrew and in the legalese, serve him with allegations of abuse, has brought a whole new meaning to the phrase.
This is what you need to know – and why we’re nowhere yet near learning the truth in this case.
Virginia Giuffre is suing Prince Andrew for damages, alleging that she was sexually abused by him when she was controlled by the super-rich sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein. He killed himself in 2019.
Epstein was once a friend of Prince Andrew – and the ninth-in-line to the throne has consistently denied the allegation and says he can’t even remember meeting Ms Giuffre.
But it’s for a court in New York to decide whether her allegations are true – assuming the case ever gets going.
If you sue someone for damages, you must first “serve” the case on the person you are intending to sue.
That means you make sure the documents containing your allegations reach their hands – or at the very least get to a lawyer working for them.
That rule is at the heart of justice in the US and the UK: a judge must be sure that the defendant knows what they are being accused of.