PRINCE Andrew “wants to protect the Queen” by avoiding a court case from sex assault accuser Virginia Roberts as he fears it will damage the monarchy.
It’s understood the Duke – who denies all the claims against him – told friends he wants to protect the Queen and monarchy by having the case thrown out of court.
But royal insiders say the only way he can convince the British public of his innocence is to go to court next week and disprove the allegations, according to the Daily Express.
The publication claims the Duke thinks he can still make a “comeback” after stepping down from royal duties in 2019 by avoiding the courtroom and using other means to discredit Ms Giuffre’s account.
The prince, who’s overseeing his team’s legal strategy, also argues that the case the Duchess of Sussex brought against The Mail on Sunday for publishing a private letter to her father shows that a win in court can still cause reputational damage to the monarchy.
Andrew desperately wants his sex assault accuser’s lawsuit thrown out because she “lives in Australia and not the US”.
His lawyers claim questioning Giuffre under oath would show she is “domiciled” in Australia instead of Colorado, as she says – and so a New York court may have no jurisdiction.
The 38-year-old, who alleges Andrew abused her three times when she was 17, is currently staying in Australia with husband Robert and their three children.
The Duke’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, said she was living in a £1million home in Perth when she filed her lawsuit and had spent less than two years in the US since moving Down Under in 2002.
In lawsuit filed in August, Ms Giuffre claimed the prince abused her on multiple occasions in 2001.
Andrew strongly denies her allegations.
The prince’s lawyers in October asked Judge Lewis A. Kaplan to throw out the lawsuit, saying he never sexually abused or assaulted her.
They also accused Ms Giuffre of suing the duke to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him.
The lawyers acknowledged that Ms Giuffre may well be a victim of sexual abuse by financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 while awaiting a sex trafficking trial.
Last month, Kaplan said a trial in Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit against Andrew could occur between September and December 2022.
But the prince’s lawyers say the new information about her residence should result in the suspension of any further progress in the lawsuit toward trial until it is settled whether she can sue Andrew in the US.
They asked the judge to order Ms Giuffre to respond to written legal requests about her residency and submit to a two-hour deposition on the issue.
An attorney for Ms Giuffre, Sigrid McCawley, called the request to toss out the case “just another in a series of tired attempts by Prince Andrew to duck and dodge the legal merits of the case brought against him”.
The prince’s attorneys wrote that Ms Giuffre has an Australian driver’s license and was living in a £1million home in Perth, Western Australia.
“Even if Ms Giuffre’s Australian domicile could not be established as early as October 2015, there can be no real dispute that she was permanently living there with an intent to remain there as of 2019 still two years before she filed this action against Prince Andrew”, the lawyers wrote.
They said the timing of Ms Giuffre’s registration to vote in Colorado prior to filing the lawsuit against the prince appears to be a “calculated” move in an effort to support her specious claim of citizenship in Colorado despite having moved to Australia at least a year earlier.
A hearing on January 4 is set to determine whether the case against Andrew, 61, can proceed.