Prince Andrew’s defense is that Virginia Giuffre was old enough to consent at 17

Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts **FILE PHOTOS**

There was some small movement in Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against Prince Andrew. Monday was one of the deadlines for Andrew’s legal team to offer some kind of defense for why Giuffre’s lawsuit should be thrown out of New York court. One of the reasons why Giuffre was finally able to sue Andrew is because federal and state laws have gradually changed to aid victims seeking financial restitution. That’s especially true in New York, with the Child Victims Act, which is the law Giuffre and her team are using to sue Andrew. So, Andrew’s defense is that the law doesn’t apply because Virginia was 17 years old when she was trafficked to him by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.

Prince Andrew is making another effort to throw out the civil case being brought against him by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was forced to have sex with the queen’s son. In a filing Monday evening, Andrew, who just hours earlier was photographed horse-riding near his home in Windsor Great Park, also asked the presiding judge to keep under seal some of his responses to Giuffre’s allegations.

Andrew controversially asked Judge Lewis Kaplan to dismiss Giuffre’s complaint, arguing that New York’s Child Victims Act, the legislation under which she is suing him, is flawed because it classifies those under the age of 18 as minors, but the age of consent in New York is 17, the London Times reports. Giuffre alleges that she was 17 when she was forced to have sex with the prince multiple times and at various locations around the world in 2001.

The London Times reports the new filing from Andrew’s legal team argues the Child Victims Act is “not a reasonable mechanism to address the injustice of child sexual abuse in New York” because it classifies under-18s as minors “even though the age of consent in New York is 17.” Andrew is arguing “the issue of consent is unsettled with regard to those—like Giuffre—who were between the ages of 17 and 18.”

The Times says Andrew’s legal team, headed by Andrew Brettler, acknowledge in the paperwork that it would be possible to prove lack of consent by showing evidence of an “implied threat” being made, but it would be difficult to prove “as memories fade, false memories are created, and witnesses die or otherwise become unavailable.” The filing adds, they report: “Here, the only witnesses to the purported implied threats under which Giuffre allegedly engaged in unconsented sex acts with Prince Andrew are Epstein (deceased), Maxwell (incarcerated), Prince Andrew (the accused), and Giuffre herself.”

The Times also reports that Andrew says he should be protected from legal action by Giuffre under the terms of a settlement she made with Epstein in 2009. The Times said Kaplan “agreed a delay to January 14 last night.”

[From The Daily Beast]

It seems like a technicality but it does concern me that Andrew’s lawyers are so focused on the technical aspects of Virginia’s accusations. That being said, Virginia has been gathering evidence of her own abuse for decades already, and it’s been established that she was groomed and trafficked as a young teenager, and that Maxwell and Epstein “gave” her (trafficked her) to men. When it comes to human trafficking, it’s not about the age of the victim (adult women can be victims of trafficking), it’s about the threat, the control, the very real danger. If someone has your passport and has been grooming you from the age of 14, your age doesn’t actually matter. So, basically, Andrew’s legal team is arguing that Virginia was “old enough” for what he did to her, and that she’s a sl-t who already got enough money from Epstein and Maxwell. Just to summarize.

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64 Responses to “Prince Andrew’s defense is that Virginia Giuffre was old enough to consent at 17”

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  1. kelleybelle says:

    But of course he doesn’t remember meeting her, right? And that’s not me in that photo. Those aren’t my hands. I can’t sweat anymore. Jesus, give it up, you guilty, lying douchebag.

    • Tour-malin says:

      … let alone the Pizza Express in Woking …

    • whatWHAT? says:

      yes, we’ve gone from “I’ve never met her” to “I was busy that night” to “whatever, she was of legal age anyway”.

      I’d like to knock those GIANT teeth right out of his face.

      • Jay says:

        Yeah, thank goodness he has conceded that, because it gives him no leeway. He is even admitting to having sex with Virginia, just claiming that it was with her consent ( which, as we’ve all been saying, a trafficked person cannot give).

        And is he now claiming that he checked that she was 17???

      • Christine says:

        Andrew is disgusting, and the fact that he thinks it’s okay for a man in his 40s to have sex with a 17 year old makes me violent.

  2. Becks1 says:

    Is his team arguing that the Child Victims Act shouldn’t apply to 17 year olds in general and thats the threshold problem with the statute?

    • Eurydice says:

      Yup, looks like the best defense his crackerjack legal team could put together is that the legislation is poorly drafted. The Queen and Charles wanted to know what was Andrew’s defense – now they know. I wonder how happy they are about it.

    • Jane says:


      If this tactic doesn’t work, presumably the next one he’ll try is that the age of consent in the UK is 16. But he’ll still deny ever having met her or anything else. Presumably the reason why he/his legal team are so focused on the technical aspects is that they have literally no other defence because everyone knows he did it.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      I…think so? It’s not a good argument for Andrew, but I can see why the lawyers seized on the 18 versus 17 discrepancy in the statutes. But Virginia was trafficked & the evidence coming out in Maxwell’s trial will further lay out how it all worked. If anything, Andrew’s attempts to fight this will probably wind up exposing more of how involved he was with Epstein & Maxwell.

      I’m fascinated at the apparent feud between his UK & US counsel. I really wonder who is advocating what.

      • KFG says:

        The consent age being 17 only applies if the other partner in within the 24 month age range. Also rape is never legal. He’s such a disgusting nonce!

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Am no lawyer but when it comes to trafficking, age esp around age of consent doesn’t come into it as if a person has been trafficked its classed as rape but I don’t know a lot about human trafficking law (in the US or internationally).

      I always thought that they would use her age and age of consent to ‘mansplain’ it all away.

    • Harper says:

      Basically, Andrew is saying Virginia should have tried harder to get out of her little trafficking predicament before she turned seventeen. Since she failed at that, she has no legal recourse. By the way, he never met her. These are only the feelings he would have if he had ever met her, but he didn’t meet her. Ever. Nope.

  3. Lauren says:

    He went from having never seen her in his life to “she was old enough to consent” pretty fast. He is so vile and disgusting.

    • Jais says:

      Can they not use the newsnight interview to show perjury, that he lied about not knowing her.

      • Izzy says:

        Not if his legal pleading is truthful. The Newsnight interview wasn’t part of a legal proceeding so he wouldn’t have committed perjury. Pizza Express, on the other hand, should use it and this pleading to sue him for dragging their name into things gross mess.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      @ Lauren, on top of that disgusting defense, his claim that she has been able to sue Maxwell and Epstein as his defense is utterly disgusting. PedoAndy’s attorneys should know that that argument has no bearing whatsoever on her lawsuit against him. As it’s an entirely different matter. PedoAndy needs to take his medicine and IF he’s smart, which he has shown otherwise, he needs to settle. If he thinks that his response is applicable, he’s in bigger trouble than he thinks he is. PedoAndy thinks he can win this, delusions of the entire royal family, but he can’t. If he’s now coming in with her age was of consent in NY, then he has now cast himself as having had sexual relations with Virginia.

    • Size Does Matter says:

      Is he actually admitting that it happened or is he arguing that the statute doesn’t apply to her based solely on taking her allegations at face value?

      • Saucy&Sassy says:

        Size Does Matter, I think his legal team is saying that the statute that Virginia is suing under defines minors as under 18, but that the age of consent is 17. This under New York law. I’m not an attorney, but it seems that a statutory construction argument could be given??? Also, it would be interesting to see a transcription of the floor argument when this bill (law) was discussed by New York’s Legislature.

        It’s not a very good look from the outside. It appears that he’s saying it doesn’t matter whether he had sexual relations with her, because she was old enough to consent; therefore, the case should be dismissed. This completely overlooks the trafficking issue. Is PA and idiot or his attorneys?

  4. A says:

    He’s so worried about the age of consent, but says nothing about her having consented. She says forced, that’s not consent. Creepy old a$$

    • ML says:

      Thank you, @A. This popped out at me, too.
      “…the age of CONSENT in New York is 17…”
      “…she was 17 when she was FORCED to have sex…”
      I’m no legal expert, but I seriously hope that this is as poor a defense as it logically appears to be!

      • Dutch says:

        The way I interpret the strategy is he’s trying to do an end-run around the consent/trafficking question by attacking the law that opened the door the lawsuit to be filed itself. If this law doesn’t apply because of this 17 vs. 18 argument, then the statue of limitations kicks in — I think. Seems like a high risk play, but probably the only one he has at this point. Hopefully the judge pokes enough holes in the strategy that it doesn’t hold water.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Dutch – that’s my interpretation. His lawyers essentially seem to be saying that the law should be barred to 17 year olds bc that’s the age of consent in NY? But you can be 17 and be raped, obviously, so the Child Victims Act would still apply, right, with the longer statute of limitations.

        I mean this isn’t a case where a 17 year old is saying it was consensual but someone else (maybe the parents) are saying it wasn’t. Virginia was a victim of sex trafficking. I don’t think this is the slam dunk than Andrew may be hoping it is, but I’m so far from this kind of lawyer that I really don’t know.

      • Mrs.Krabapple says:

        I agree with the others. A 17 year old can still be raped, even if it wouldn’t automatically count as “statutory” rape. The only way Andrew’s defense makes sense, is if the court believe that a 17 year old can NEVER be sexually assaulted, even without consent. I don’t think any reasonable judge would make that conclusion, as it means rape can never occur as long as the victim is 17 or older.

  5. milliemollie says:

    There was never any chance for her to consent to anything! She had no free will, no way of leaving! And also, I thought he never met her?!
    Andrew can go f’ck a blender.

  6. Commonwealthy sounded witty at first says:

    His daughters must do a real juggling act, between loving their dad and being activists against trafficking and slavery.

    • Lexistential says:

      Maybe that activism against trafficking and slavery is their own personal refusal to accept that part of him. They can love him as their dad, but that’s their pledge to not be okay with that.

  7. Zappos Brannigan says:

    The beloved son of the head of the church of England folks. Remember that these people feel they are better than you. Vile, corrupt, arrogant and deeply immoral.

  8. Cessily says:

    The allegations are RAPE of a trafficked minor.. there is no consent in RAPE no matter what the age! The fact that she was a sex trafficking victim just makes the allegations against him even worse. This victim shaming in the media has to stop and should not be allowed. I hope she is awarded an amount so huge that the British finally get fed up supporting a Monarchy that embraces these people.. you are who you surround yourself with and the The Royals seem to surround themselves with some of the most vile.. imo they are all sick.

    • tisme says:

      @Cessily THANK YOU! Exactly.

    • RoyalAssassin says:

      Yes, thank you @Cessily. I’m a little tired of people hurling the “pedo” moniker at him. Pedophiles are a very, very different thing than some lame freak like this who has sex with trafficked teenagers, even if they are the age of consent: she’d been groomed/kidnapped/ trafficked since 14 or so. I despise this beaver-toothed useless whelp, but he’s not a pedo. The entire point is HUMAN / SEX TRAFFICIKING, and Bucky Beaver here bought into it. Her age is irrelevant: she was groomed and was a victim of sex trafficking, and there he was, right in the mix.

  9. ThatsNotOkay says:

    That’s…that’s his argument? Oh, no, baby. What is you doin’?!

    That’s the grossest take he could take. Trafficked at any age is a crime. Trafficked as a teen (or younger) is an abomination. Just because Charles got a gullible teen virgin to marry him when he was in his thirties, doesn’t mean that Andrew was entitled to whatever teen was forced to have him. Piece of shit.

  10. Merricat says:

    He’s not doing himself or the rest of the royal family any favors with this “argument.” He’s wriggling on the pin.

  11. Miranda says:

    …but she didn’t consent. It doesn’t matter whether or not she was old enough to consent if she didn’t fucking consent. Are they fucking serious with this? Mummy is likely spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on his defense, and THIS is all they’ve got.

    • Emma says:

      I think they’re saying she’s not a reliable witness because she is the one bringing the suit?? It seems they are saying there are no reliable witnesses as Epstein is (thank god) dead, Maxwell incarcerated, Andrew is the defendant, and Giuffre is the accuser, so none of them can be a reliable witness? (Makes no sense to me. Her reliability isn’t based on whether or not she claims to be the victim of a crime. I hope. I know our legal system is often biased against women, but not allowing a woman to be a witness in her own case is ridiculous. Giuffre can certainly testify, as could Andrew and Maxwell. And also, the other sex-trafficked individuals in the situation would probably have witnessed some of this or heard from Giuffre about it at the time?) Hopefully this gets thrown out.

  12. Mslove says:

    Andrew didn’t care how old Virginia was. He didn’t care that she was an Epstein victim. He didn’t care that she didn’t want to be raped. I believe if given the opportunity, he would do it again. He’s a monster, and the BM need to call him out for the rapist he is.

  13. Jessie Quinton says:

    It’s not an age of consent issue.

    It’s a human trafficking issue. Which would make what he did to VG rape at whatever age.

    All of Mummy’s money at his disposal and this is the best argument those lawyers could come up with?

  14. Sofia says:

    It’s doesn’t matter if she was 17 or 27, she was a trafficked victim. They cannot give consent. She was r*ped.

  15. OriginalLaLa says:

    What a vile disgusting piece of sh*t. I hope this brings down the House of Windsor and we can finally #AbolishTheMonarchy. How much of his mother’s money (AKA the taxpayer’s funds) have been used to shield him from justice? How much power has the Queen and the BRF used to protect him over the years??

  16. GR says:

    @Zappos – yes, I think you’re right – they do feel like they’re better than the rest of us, and that’s why the queen’s child is more important than someone else’s child who he raped (and why charles’s friend in the clergy is more important than the kids he allegedly molested.)

  17. Amy Bee says:

    Some of R Kelly’s victims were adults. The issue here is that she was victim of sex trafficking and Andrew was one of the perpetrators. Andrew discussing her age means he admits to participating in the crime.

  18. Jumpingthesnark says:

    If this is in their argument then they (and extension the BRF) are in deep sh*t and they know it.

    • detritus says:

      That’s what I’m stuck on. I mean, I know the UK has been moving backward in terms of LGBT rights, but this is super regressive and shallow.

      Is this all they have? I kinda hope so. I hope Guiffre gets her justice. I hope he’s internationally know as a pedo trafficker

      • caela says:

        I don’t understand what the LGBT+ community has to do with this? Leave us queers folks alone we all hate him too!

  19. Bettyrose says:

    If you have to debate the legality of sex with a 17 year old, you’ve made poor life choices.

  20. Eating Popcorn says:

    But, but, but… Meghan and Harry and Meghan and Meghan and Meghan…


    • lanne says:

      Yikes royal family. Just yikes. At least Harry and Meghan are rid of those toxic idiots. Who on earth wants to subjuct their children to creepy Uncle Pedo Andy? Who wants to stand next to that guy on the balcony?

    • Kitikonti says:

      LOL I was just gonna say……but Meghan was duchessing whilest black….surely thats the bigger crime here , amirite ????? /s
      The whole family is sick sick sick …….probably all pedo’s….

  21. Jaded says:

    It’s an interesting twist of fate that Maxwell’s trial is going on at the same time Pedo Prince’s civil case is happening. If it looks like she’s going down for a long time it is my fervent hope that she releases information on him and others to lighten her sentence. Although she’d likely have to change her identity and go into hiding because we all know she’d be Epsteined.

  22. 123Qwerty says:

    This guy has gotten the worst lawyering ever. I’m not defending him even slightly but anyone with his means and half a brain would have shut this down with a discreet payoff and MDA a decade ago.

  23. els says:

    Wtf is that kind of statement? This creep needs to learn the definition of consent. At this age, you’re still a “kid” and many women says yes because patriarchy society as a whole taught us to be polite. Doesn’t mean we’re consenting.

  24. Pretty bird says:

    NY lawyer here, not affiliated with this case/Celebitchy and this is not legal advice, and I… what?? I can’t believe they decided to go down this route. Very simplified explanation — the law does not leave the issue of consent unsettled for 17 year olds (???). It lays out two criteria to qualify who can bring suit in cases like these: a) the victim was under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged conduct and b) the alleged conduct constitutes a sexual offense as defined in Article 130 of the New York Penal Code. Article 130 deals with ALL sexual abuse. CSA is ONE aspect. 130.05 defines consent — Forcible compulsion and incapacity to consent are included. So, one would imagine that VG’s lawyers are going to argue that the conduct falls under 130 because it was nonconsensual as defined by 130.05 — and then likely include specific details about the conduct in order to meet the legal threshhold (FYI these details could be introduced under seal). And PA is going to argue…???

    NOT a good look to be arguing over the fine print of NY’s CONSENT laws, my God.

    WHY not give evidence from any official channels – diaries/assistant notes/police protection logs – to back up claims. If he was getting pizza in public with his daughters then there’s a note in a Met police log somewhere. That he has been unwilling (or unable) to provide docs like this is the most telling aspect of this for me. He needs to SETTLE.

    • Jay says:

      I’m sure if such evidence existed or could be found, it would have been produced already.

      A big part of Andrew’s legal problems stem from his initial denials – I’ve never met that girl, she’s lying, that photo is fake, I can’t sweat(?) and, weirdly specific, I was at a pizza express in Woking at the time.

      So I think he’s kind of hamstrung his defense, because now if they were to introduce evidence saying he was anywhere else, it’ll be “So…you were very specific that you were having pizza with your daughter this day, why did you lie?” Not impossible to come up with a plausible excuse, or even to admit that yes, he recognizes Virginia, but having watched Andrew crash and burn in that tv interview, maybe his lawyers thought “Nah, let’s try to argue a point of law and for god’s sake don’t let this jackass speak”.

    • Lexistential says:

      And yet he won’t settle, because he believes he is saving face for the monarchy rather than dragging it through disgrace.

  25. Rebecca says:

    *comment deleted*

  26. Jay says:

    This is the best argument that Andrew’s multiple teams if lawyers came up with?

    My big question is, if he’s choosing to die on the “17 is old enough!” hill, what evidence did he have that she was, in fact, 17? He wants to make the argument that he thought VG was old enough to consent, fine – how did he know that? Did he ask his good friend Ghislaine?
    Did he straight up ask Virginia if she was a minor? Or did he not want to know?

    Both possibilities are not a road you would want to go down in court, I would say.

    Doesn’t that last part remind you of the palace’s “Recollections may vary”, but in an almost ominous way?

    “Memories fade, false memories are created, and witnesses die or otherwise become unavailable.”

    • Julia K says:

      That last sentence is scary and a threat?

    • kate says:

      I believe he would be the party which is obliged by law to make sure the other party was “old enough by law” and not merely “old enough by assumption”. He is a rapist of an enslaved child prostitute and he should have that sex offender status slapped all over him. He should be judged and jailed and pay all of his fortune as a compensation.

      So there are still enough rapists from Epstein’s island running around free who protect Andrew which is why he isn’t sued properly? I suppose that is what is happening.

  27. LaraW” says:

    Skimmed Andrew’s Reply. The argument re consent isn’t his main argument. He’s still leaning very heavily on the release agreement Virginia signed. The argument is that 1) the court should take judicial notice of the release agreement; 2) the court should “look to the plain language of the agreement itself to determine the parties’ intent, without considering any parol evidence or Giuffre’s eleventh-hour contention that she ‘never intended to release Prince Andrew in the 2009 Release’”; and 3) a plain reading of the text shows that Andrew is covered by the release agreement.

    The other stuff is a lot of technicalities and splitting hairs about the language of the law.

  28. Tessa says:

    This does not make the royal family look good though this is all played down by the media

  29. Slippers4life says:

    Whatever that release agreement says, good on her for fighting for all that she can. At the end of the day, none if Andrew’s legal defense vindicates him socially. All he might be able to say is that he cut a deal not to get prosecuted. None of this defense says he is innocent. There are plenty of other powerful, arguably more powerful, men, who Virginia Robert’s is not suing and who also had connections to Epstein. She is very clear, “I did not see Bill Clinton doing anything illegal”, for example. Her story is so clear. Passes every sniff test for honestly. It is so important what she is doing and, whatever defense the BRF can cook up, will not change the fact that her story will inspire courage in so many of us and be a catalyst for meaningful change.

  30. anotherlily says:

    Age of consent is not the same as age of majority. Full adult status is 18. In the UK the age of consent is 16 but in cases where someone in a position of authority or trust such as a teacher or sports coach, has a sexual relationship with a consenting 16 or 17 year old they are guilty of a crime. It is an abuse of power.