A U.S. judge has rejected a bid by Britain's Prince Andrew to dismiss Virginia Giuffre's lawsuit accusing the Duke of York of sexually abusing her when she was 17 and being trafficked by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.
In a decision made public on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan in Manhattan said it was premature to consider the prince's efforts to cast doubt on Giuffre's accusations, though he would be allowed to do so at a trial.
Kaplan said it was also too soon to decide whether Giuffre and Epstein intended to release people like Andrew in their 2009 settlement agreement. Such settlements can restrict plaintiffs from pursuing further litigation, even against third parties.
Lawyers for Andrew and Giuffre did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Andrew has denied Giuffre's accusations that he forced her to have sex more than two decades ago at the London home of former Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and abused her at two other Epstein properties.