Prince Andrew is set to 'fight' the sex assault case against him with his legal team planning to 'properly scrutinise inconsistencies' in his accuser's lawsuit, reports say.
The Duke of York is being sued in New York by Virginia Giuffre, now 38, who claims he sexually abused her on three separate occasions when she was 17 – in London, New York and on billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein's Caribbean island.
Andrew, 61, has consistently and strongly denied the allegations.
A source close to the Prince told The Times that by launching the civil case, Mrs Giuffre 'has actively invited legal scrutiny of her own version of events'.
The source added: 'This provides an opportunity for the duke's team to properly scrutinise the multiple inconsistencies in her narrative that have emerged over the years, and you can expect to see a rigorous defence of all her allegations.'
The Duke of York is being sued in New York by Virginia Giuffre, now 38, who claims he sexually abused her on three separate occasions when she was 17 – in London , New York and on billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein 's Caribbean island
The Prince (pictured left in November 2019) is being sued in New York by Mrs Giuffre, now 38, who alleges he sexually abused her on three separate occasions when she was 17
Another source said that the decision to bring in the Hollywood lawyer Andrew Brettler was a 'significant turning point in approach', and now the legal team will look to 'robustly engage and challenge the claims from Mrs Giuffre in a bid to provide the duke with a platform to finally clear his name'.
'They will be looking to examine and dismantle the claims one by one,' the source added. 'In light of his position, probably the best thing here would be a settlement to resolve it.'
When asked why a settlement had not been pursued earlier, the source added: 'He (Andrew) may have received bad legal advice.'
It comes following reports that Mrs Giuffre's lawyers have agreed to hand the duke a copy of a 'release' signed in 2009 after her settlement with sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Another source said that the decision to bring in the Hollywood lawyer Andrew Brettler (pictrued) was a 'significant turning point in approach'
The Duke of York's attorneys will try to use the clause to exempt him from any fault in her claims against him, the Sun on Sunday reported.
Ms Giuffre's lawyers said the agreement was 'irrelevant' because it only offers protection to lawyers, employees, agents and heirs.
Her lead lawyer, David Boies, said he was happy to hand the document over to Andrew's team in a legal document filed in New York this week.
Mr Boies said: 'Although we believe that the release is irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew, now that service has been accepted and the case is proceeding to a determination on the merits, we believe that counsel for Prince Andrew have a right to review the release and to make whatever arguments they believe appropriate based on it.'
Andrew's lawyers finally acknowledged on Friday that the Prince had been served with legal papers. He now has until October 29 to respond.
A source with knowledge of the proceedings told The Mail on Sunday: 'The decision to bring in high-profile [US lawyer] Andrew Brettler to fight the civil case marks a significant turning point in approach, and the US team will be looking to robustly engage and challenge the claims from Mrs Giuffre in a bid to provide the Duke with a platform to finally clear his name.
'They will be looking to examine and dismantle the claims one by one.'