Prince Andrew was last night charged with a ‘deaf’ defense in his legal battle with Virginia Roberts after his lawyers suggested she may have ‘false memories’ of her meetings with him.
In a scathing response to the Duke’s request for Miss Roberts’ mental health records, her solicitor, David Boies, said: ‘She would not remember badly the sexual abuse of a Prince of England.
The allegation about memory problems was made by Andrew in legal filings over the weekend in the sex case brought against him by Miss Roberts in a New York court.
Virginia Roberts pictured with Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell in early 2001. Miss Roberts’ lawyer used a photo of her with Andrew to attack her defense
Miss Roberts claims she had sex with Andrew on three occasions when she was 17 in 2001 while under the care of Jeffrey Epstein, the deceased pedophile who was friends with the Duke. Andrew vehemently denied her allegations.
Her lawyers have asked to question Miss Roberts’ psychologist, Dr Judith Lightfoot, about all their sessions, all the prescriptions given and the ‘false memory theory’.
Ghislaine Maxwell used a ‘false memory expert’ during her trial for trafficking and recruiting underage girls for Epstein, but she was found guilty on five of the six counts.
Mr Boies told the Daily Mail: ‘That’s exactly what Maxwell tried. It didn’t end well. People can remember a lot of things, but they don’t remember poorly the sexual abuse of a Prince of England.
“Also, Prince Andrew has to say that everyone else who saw them together also has ‘false memories’.”
Referring to Andrew’s notorious photo with Miss Roberts in 2001 in London, Mr Boies added: ‘And how does a ‘false memory’ create a photograph?
Depositions Andrew’s US attorney, Andrew Brettler, has asked the Australian government for help in deposing Dr Lightfoot.
On the way: Prince and ex-wife Sarah Ferguson look dejected as they leave Windsor at the weekend
Miss Roberts, now 38 and a mother of three, currently lives in Australia and goes by the name Virginia Giuffre.
The legal filing stated: “The defendant submits that the plaintiff may suffer from false memories, as evidenced by the fact that her claims about her time with Epstein and the circumstances in which the defendant allegedly assaulted her have changed repeatedly over the years. year.”
A source close to the Duke told The Sunday Times that the focus on false memories came from “Maxwell’s book”.
Andrew’s legal team’s tactics also sparked a row of ‘victim blaming’.
Brad Edwards, a Florida attorney who represents dozens of Epstein victims, called the strategy “so tone deaf that it essentially amounts to judicial suicide.”
He said: “Taking another piece out of the Epstein/Maxwell book and attacking Virginia is probably the only thing he can do to look worse.”
“I would say his defense can’t get any worse, but last time I thought he went on TV and gave what amounted to the dumbest interview ever.”
Spencer Kuvin, a Florida attorney who represents several Epstein victims, said attacking a victim’s memory was a “horrible” defense.
Miss Roberts holding a photo of herself aged 16, when she says Jeffrey Epstein began sexually abusing her
He said: “It’s classic ‘reabuse’ of the victim and an attempt to implicitly embarrass the victim with the aim of intimidating them and hoping that embarrassment and public shame will cause them to drop their claims. “
Gloria Allred, who represents many of Epstein’s victims, said: ‘The prince has the right to take deposition from Virginia’s therapist for the purpose of determining emotional distress. It’s not uncommon.
“The court may have to determine its questions, for example, do they go beyond the line. There is nothing wrong with asking the therapist about the treatment, whether she has had any issues to determine if she suffered from the emotional distress she experienced and if her distress is caused by other issues.
“If there are issues that are not appropriate, it may have to be decided by the court.
“Prince Andrew claims he doesn’t even remember meeting her.
“If he has a therapist, she could take a statement from his therapist if he has one.
‘Is Andrew’s memory of not remembering meeting her, is it a false memory for self-interest? He may have, maybe not a false memory, but he may have a selective memory that remembers some facts but not others.
The case is moving forward after Judge Lewis Kaplan last week denied a request by Andrew to dismiss it.
Subsequently, the Queen stripped Andrew of all military patronages and use of the Her Royal Highness style, effectively isolating him from the family.
With a trial tentatively scheduled for September, Andrew could settle the case, but he is expected to pay up to £10m.
Miss Roberts’ lawyers have said in legal documents they want to depose Andrew’s former equerry Robert Olney and Shukri Walker, a woman who claims she saw the Duke dancing with a young woman at a nightclub in 2001 , at the time Mrs. Roberts says they were there.
The Duke’s team have also requested to interview Miss Roberts’ husband Robert under oath.
A source said: “Ms Giuffre has put her mental health at risk by suing for damages for emotional distress.
“The Duke’s legal team is fully entitled to test her claims, determine her damages, if any, and see what she did or did not tell her therapist.”