A Complete Timeline Of Prince Andrew's Trial

In April 2015, Prince Andrew was mentioned in court documents that were filed by a legal team representing Virginia Giuffre in a case against Jeffrey Epstein. Giuffre's team asserted that Andrew sexually abused her when she was only 17 years old. The allegations were denied by Buckingham Palace and stricken from the record in that case, but resurfaced in 2019. That year, Andrew gave an interview to the BBC denying Giuffre's claims (per The Guardian).

In August 2021, Giuffre filed a case against Andrew in New York City. In her filing, she said she was forced to engage in adult relations with the royal several times when she was a teenager (per the BBC). While Andrew has always denied the allegations, the legal case against him has only continued to grow. After an American judge refused to dismiss the case, Andrew's legal team announced they are opting to go ahead with a full jury trial.

In the intervening weeks, Andrew has been stripped of his royal honors and affiliations, and will no longer use "His Royal Highness" in any official capacity. Any trial is expected to take place in late 2022, and could be quite the experience for the man who was once second in line to the throne.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

A U.S. judge recently refused to dismiss the allegations against Prince Andrew

On January 12, 2022, Prince Andrew and his legal team received a huge blow when an American judge refused to dismiss the sexual abuse lawsuit against him. Andrew's lawyers had attempted to argue that an agreement Virginia Giuffre signed in 2009 meant she wasn't legally able to sue Andrew at all, though the judge did not rule against allowing the settlement to be used in open trial.

In his statement, U.S. Judge Kaplan stated that it was not up to him to decide if Andrew counts as one of the second parties that Giuffre agreed to refrain from filing a later lawsuit against. Instead, it was only up to the court to rule on whether or not the document in question could be interpreted in at least two different ways. By refusing to dismiss the suit on the basis of said document, Judge Kaplan ruled that both parties involved in Andrew's suit may understand it in different ways, and it will be up to each side's legal team to prove why their client's understanding is the correct one (per The Guardian).

Andrew's team also attempted to assert that Giuffre's suit was too vague to continue, a claim that Judge Kaplan shut down immediately. As he stated in his refusal, "Ms Giuffre's complaint is neither 'unintelligible' nor 'vague' nor 'ambiguous.' It alleges discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances at three identifiable locations." 

Prince Andrew was subsequently stripped of his royal titles and affiliations

A day after Judge Kaplan refused to dismiss the case against him, Prince Andrew was subsequently stripped of his royal titles and affiliations by Queen Elizabeth. The move came after weeks of requests by the British military that Andrew's honorary titles be taken back. Andrew is no longer allowed to partake in any of his royal patronages or to use "His Royal Highness" in any official capacity.

As The Guardian notes, this effectively means that Andrew was "removed from official royal life." Buckingham Palace issued its own statement confirming the changes, noting that Queen Elizabeth approved and agreed to each, and that, "The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen." 

Many believe that the conversation had been a heated one for weeks leading up to the announcement, and both Prince Charles and Prince William are said to have been part of the decision-making process. The roles that Andrew lost cannot be returned to him, and will instead be handed out to additional members of the family.

In late January 2022, Prince Andrew requested a jury trial in the case

Throughout January 2022, it seemed Prince Andrew faced two options: pay a settlement to Virginia Giuffre or proceed ahead to a full trial. On January 27, 2022, Andrew chose the latter. The move surprised some, as a full jury trial in the matter has the potential to open up Andrew and those closest to him to a whole host of invasive and difficult questions.

In documents filed by Andrew's legal team, he "demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint." At the same time, the documents list twelve responses that they assert should dismantle Giuffre's case, including their belief that Giuffre's 19 years of living in Australia should invalidate any lawsuits she has filed in the United States. 

Andrew's team also responds to a specific section of Giuffre's original filing concerning a widely-shared photograph of herself, Andrew, and former Jeffrey Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell. While Guiffre's suit claims the photograph was taken the night she was abused, Andrew's legal team has claimed he "lacks sufficient information to admit or deny the allegations" (per Sky News).

Prince Andrew and others will be required to give depositions

One reason many are surprised that Prince Andrew's legal team is moving ahead with a full jury trial is that doing so means the next step in the case is that Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre, and potentially many others will be required to give legal depositions. A lawyer who worked in the trial against Jeffrey Epstein told the Mirror that the potential list of witnesses will likely include Andrew's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, the pair's adult daughters, and possibly even the Queen herself.

As lawyer Spencer Kuvin put it to the publication, the interview that Andrew himself gave the BBC could be what works against him. That night, "He mentioned his wife as well as his daughters. They can now all legally be deposed. The lawyers could even try for the Queen." While Kuvin thinks it's unlikely the ruling sovereign could actually be called to speak against her son at all, the full potential ramifications of Andrew's attempts to defend himself so far is being laid bare. 

In this phase of the trial, both sets of lawyers will be required to give one another information about the witnesses and evidence they plan to use. Kuvin also says that Andrew will need to prepare himself for a set of extremely personal questions. As he put it, "Nothing is off limits because if an underage girl can describe what the Duke of York's private parts look like ... how would that be if they had not had a relationship?"

The trial will take place in-person in New York in late 2022

In their filing to go to full jury trial, Prince Andrew's lawyers Andrew Brettler and Melissa Lerner have revealed that their client is comfortable with all of the possibilities ahead of him. As Brettler put it while speaking to USA Today, "Obviously, the possibility of settlement is always on the table in any civil litigation, but we think our filing today makes our intentions pretty clear."

Because Virginia Giuffre has already insisted that she would like to go to full jury trial as well, the legal filing to do so was the next step one party had to take. Giuffre's lawyer David Boies says that his client is keeping her options open, as she is truly hoping to have her side of story told and validated for all involved parties. As Boies told USA Today, "What is important to Virginia Giuffre is vindication, which she can get through a trial but also through an appropriate settlement. ... If it's possible to get an appropriate resolution that vindicates her, we'll do it and if not, we're going to go trial."

Boies continued by noting that any future trial will be held in-person in New York City in the fall of 2022. While Andrew is not obligated to appear, skipping the trial would do him more harm than good.