PRINCE Andrew claims his rape accuser recruited girls for pedophile Jeffrey Epstein and ‘suffers from false memories’.
The Duke of York – who has now lost his royal and military titles – is battling a sex abuse case filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre as a ‘private citizen’.
She alleges she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times when she was 17 – claims the 61-year-old has always strongly denied.
Andrew was seen pensive today with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson – the first time he has been spotted since he was sensationally stripped of his royal titles by his mother, the Queen.
But after a judge denied Andrew’s request to have the civil case thrown out, his lawyers accused Ms Giuffre of helping recruit underage girls for disgraced financier Epstein, documents filed with the court in New York.
Andrew alleges Ms Giuffre’s claims are ‘an effort to misappropriate her own involvement in Epstein’s sex trafficking scheme, including recruiting young women (including at least one 14-year-old girl) to become sexual partners for Epstein.
And her lawyers want to question Ms. Giuffre’s husband and psychologist as witnesses in her defense.
They asked to speak to Dr Judith Lightfoot about Ms Giuffre’s claims that she suffered “severe emotional distress and psychological harm” as a result of her alleged ordeal.
Court documents show his lawyers also want to review Dr Lightfoot’s medical notes during his sessions with Ms Giuffre, now 38.
His legal team says Andrew ‘argues that (Ms Giuffre) may suffer from false memories, as evidenced by the fact that her claims about her time with Epstein and the circumstances in which (Andrew) allegedly assaulted her have repeatedly changed over the years”. .
The Duke’s lawyers also want to question her husband Robert Giuffre under oath about his “alleged childhood trauma and abuse” and any communication they have had about this civil case she has brought against him.
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It comes after the Queen made the decision to strip Andrew of his HRH title on Wednesday following a meeting with Charles and the Duke of Cambridge.
The explosive decision came after New York judge Lewis Kaplan ruled Andrew should face a civil trial over allegations he sexually abused Ms Giuffre.
Andrew will now face his trial as an “ordinary citizen”.
Her Majesty’s third child is also banned from using “His Royal Highness” in any capacity, and his military titles were revoked in the sensational ruling.
Prince William was said to have been a key figure in Andrew’s title stripping judgment – and helped his grandmother realize his position was ‘serious’.
Both he and Charles are said to be in agreement that Andrew should go – and were ‘completely furious’ after he ‘crossed a red line’, The Sun exclusively reported.
Prince Andrew, who looked pale as he was driven to see his mother, was said to have been stunned by the decision.
Insiders said the decision to reduce the royal – often called her ‘favorite son’ – to a ‘private citizen’ was one of the most difficult of the Queen’s 70-year reign.
It follows discussions within the family about the growing problem of the ‘Andrew Question’.
Andrew seeks an out-of-court settlement for Ms. Giuffre. It could be up to £10m – the amount he will get from the sale of his chalet in Verbier, Switzerland.
But in a bombshell statement, Buckingham Palace confirmed they will now have to go it alone.
The palace said: “With the Queen’s approval and consent, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.
“The Duke of York will continue to hold no public office and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
Virginia claims she was seduced by the Duke of York’s pal Maxwell and lured into paedo Epstein’s sick sex pyramid scheme.
She claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew on three occasions – in London, New York and on Epstein’s island, Little St James.
Her legal team say she was a ‘scared and vulnerable child with no one to protect her’ when she was allegedly abused by Andrew, saying ‘no one, be it the president or the prince, is above the law”.
Andrew is named as the sole defendant in the lawsuit, brought under New York State’s Child Victims Act, but Epstein and Maxwell are frequently mentioned throughout.
She is seeking unknown amounts of compensation and punitive damages for the allegations.
But Andrew has always vehemently denied all the allegations.