Prince Andrew is expected to be questioned later this year in the sex abuse lawsuit filed against him, The Daily Telegraph reports.
A lawyer representing the plaintiff, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, told the news outlet that Andrews will face questioning over the course of one to two days during a deposition in London.
“I’m going to try to get him to understand that this is not going to be combative,” the lawyer, David Boies, told The Daily Telegraph. “Obviously, I’m going to ask him a lot of questions.”
“And although some of the questions may be uncomfortable, I’m not going to be aggressive or in any way offensive to him. I’m going to be respectful.”
Boies added that he has no intention of asking about Andrew’s family, including his daughters, the Queen or his ex-wife Fergi, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Giuffre alleges that when she was 17, she was forced to have sex with Andrew three times by the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The deposition must occur before July 14, a deadline set by the judge overseeing the case. It is still possible that the suit could settle, according to The Daily Mail.
Andrew has said he has no memory of meeting Giuffre, despite a widely circulated 2001 photo that appears to show him with his arm around her waist. Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime companion who helped him traffic underage girls, is also in the photo smiling for the camera.
Last week, Andrew formally responded to the lawsuit. He denied them outright or otherwise asserted that he “lacks sufficient information to admit or deny” them, The Daily Mail reports.
“He could have said, ‘I didn’t know she was underage.’ He could have said, ‘This was an entirely consensual affair.’ There are a number of things he could have said that would have been hard to attack. But this is incomprehensible,” Boies told the newspaper.
Giuffre likely will not want to settle if Andrew continues to maintain that he does not know her or suggests that the photograph is fake, according to the news outlet. However, Giuffre may accept settlement if the offer is substantial enough that it would be perceived as “vindication,” the newspaper reports.
“We would be unlikely to settle in a situation in which somebody just handed over a check. So if Prince Andrew maintains ‘I’ve never heard of this person,’ ‘I don’t know who she is,’ ‘The photographs are fake,’ then I don’t think we would settle on that basis,” Boies told The Daily Telegraph.
He added: “That said, if you had a settlement that was large enough to be, in effect, a vindication, then it’s something we would obviously look at.”
[Feature image: Prince Andrew/Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP, file and Virginia Roberts Giuffree/AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, file]