Lawyer for Prince Andrew’s rape accuser tonight have served him – after help from a British policeman and a judge appointed by the Queen.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s legal team’s bombshell claim comes after they say they had to try at least five different ways of serving papers on the elusive duke.
Prince Andrew has been served, lawyers for his rape accuser have said.
One attempt saw a server turn up to Andrew’s Windsor address and hand the court papers to a cop, who they claim helpfully agreed to hand them to the duke.
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Virginia’s team also managed to get a copy emailed to his lawyers by the Senior Master of the Queen’s Bench Division – a post appointed by Andrew’s mum.
David Boies, Virginia’s lead lawyer, says at least two methods of alternative service they have used, qualify under US law.
Lawyers for Prince Andrew are said to reject the notion that he has been legally served.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan – who holds a hearing for the sex assault lawsuit on Monday – will ultimately decide whether Andrew has been officially served.
Mr Boies said: “We will make a report to the court of what we have done. If the court confirms Andrew has been served, the judge will give him a deadline to respond.
“I don’t really believe his legal team are going to ignore this – but that’s what they have done consistently, so maybe that will happen.
“If Andrew doesn’t respond there can be a default judgement against him.”
Virginia’s explosive lawsuit – filed in New York on August 9 – accuses Prince Andrew of sexually assaulting her three times when she was under 18.
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Her legal team at firm Boies Schiller Flexner have spent the past month attempting to serve the Duke of York with the court papers.
Mr Boies said that under existing law they only needed to post a copy to Andrew’s last known address – aptly via Royal Mail.
They also emailed a copy to Barbara Fontaine, Senior Master of the Queen’s Bench Division, who sent it on to Andrew’s UK lawyers.
Mr Boies, 80, added: “They responded saying they had got it.”
Senior Master Fontaine – who was appointed by Andrew’s mum – also holds the title of Queen’s Remembrancer, an ancient judicial post.
Mr Boies believes those two methods qualify as alternative service.
A processor – or official server – also twice turned up to Andrew’s Royal Lodge mansion in Windsor with a copy of the lawsuit.
They were denied entry, but on one occasion were given a helping hand by a cop.
Mr Boies said: “A policeman took the court papers and said he would give them to him (Andrew). We certainly didn’t expect that!”
Lawyers for Virginia also emailed the lawsuit to Andrew’s UK lawyers and US attorney Blair Berk – who formerly represented pervert producer Harvey Weinstein.
In addition, they emailed the Duke of York’s office and received a cheery auto-reply back.
It said: “Thank you for your email to the Duke of York’s office. This is an automatic acknowledgment to tell you we have received your email safely.”
Mr Boies faces a teleconference call over Andrew’s lawsuit with Judge Kaplan in New York on Monday at 4pm EST (9pm UK time).
But the duke may not have anyone to defend him on the line – with sources suggesting his lawyers will IGNORE the hearing.
Mr Boies said: “At the moment we have no opponent. The way they have been approaching this, I don’t think someone will appear on his behalf.
“It will be quite a moment when these allegations are heard before a judge – but the real moment is when the judgement comes in.”
Andrew, 61, has now bolted to Balmoral in Scotland – holed up with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.
Mr Boies added: “The images of him hiding out will damage his reputation.”
Lawyers for Prince Andrew objected to the “regrettable” methods employed by Virginia’s legal team to serve him and suggested they were not legally binding.
Gary Bloxsome, a UK lawyer from Blackfords LLP, believed to be representing the duke, made the claims in a letter to Barbara Fontaine, obtained by ABC News.
He said: “(Virginia’s lawyers) have made several public, indeed well-publicised, attempts at irregular service of these proceedings in this jurisdiction, in at least one case accompanied by a media representative.
“These have included attempted personal service of our client at his home, the instruction of a private process server, and attempts to email the proceedings not only to this firm, but to barristers (who are not authorised to conduct litigation) who are known to have acted for the duke.”
Bloxsome maintains that under British law, a valid request for assistance from UK court officials must come from a judicial or diplomatic officer in the US.
If the judge overseeing the case made a request, Bloxsome said “is likely that our client will be content to agree to a convenient method of alternative service”.
He added: “However, absent being satisfied of some very good reason to do so, our client is highly unlikely to be prepared to agree to any form of alternative service while the approach to service of these proceedings remains irregular and the viability of the claim remains open to doubt.”
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