The Sex abuse claims against Prince Andrew will not be heard in a US civil court case after a judge ruled against their inclusion.
Judge Kenneth Marra has ordered that Virginia Roberts’s accusations about Andrew, the Duke of York, are to be struck from the record and denied her attempt to join a lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of the prince and a convicted sex offender.
“At this juncture in the proceedings, these lurid details are unnecessary,” Marra wrote in his order, issued at the US district court in southern Florida on Tuesday morning. “These unnecessary details shall be stricken.”
The Guardian reports: Marra made no ruling or statement about the veracity of Roberts’s allegations. He said the “factual details regarding with whom and where” she had sex were “immaterial and impertinent” to her argument that she should be allowed to join the lawsuit.
However, Marra noted that Roberts may yet appear as a witness when the long-running case finally goes to trial.
Brad Edwards, an attorney for Roberts, said in a statement that her legal team “absolutely respect” the judge’s ruling, which had recognised Roberts’s right to take part in the case as a witness. Roberts said: “I’m happy to get to participate in this important case.”
A Buckingham Palace official said the Duke had been informed of the Florida court’s ruling and was spending this week in private, before resuming his schedule of public engagements next week.
His spokesman declined to comment further but referred back to repeated palace denials of Roberts claims, including a 3 January statement that “it is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”