Prince Andrew has hired a top Hollywood lawyer whose clients include Armie Hammer and a slew of celebrities accused of sexual assault.
Court documents show that the Duke of York has hired Andrew Brettler, of powerhouse Los Angeles law firm Lavely & Singer, to represent him in the case brought by his accuser Virginia Roberts.
Brettler will be taking on another legal heavy hitter, David Boies, during the hearing due to take place at federal court in New York on Monday.
Four hours before the hearing was set to take place, Brettler filed a notice saying he was representing the British royal.
Court documents show Prince Andrew has hired celebrity attorney Andrew Brettler to represent him in the sexual assault case brought against him by his accuser and Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre (right)
Four hours before the Duke of York is due to appear in federal court in New York, Brettler, of powerhouse Los Angeles law firm Lavely & Singer, filed a notice Monday saying he was representing the British royal. He is pictured right with firm founder Marty Singer in 2019
Brettler stated he is appearing ‘for the purpose of contesting purported service of process and challenging jurisdiction.’
Earlier this year, the high-powered attorney was hired to defend Hammer, 35, against allegations that the actor has cannibalistic fetishisms and sexually and physically abused a woman during their four-year relationship.
His other clients include director Bryan Singer who has been accused of sexually assaulting minors.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter in May, Brettler spoke out against the MeToo movement and said there was an ‘assumption of wrong-doing just based on an accusation, even an anonymous one.’
But in another interview he said that sometimes the best response ‘may be to lie low.’
‘Sometimes the best defense is to not do anything, is to accept the punishment or whatever decision it is that the company made and stay quiet and better yourself as a person. Make whatever apologies need to be made, privately,’ he said.
Hiring Brettler brings the formidable resources of Lavely & Singer – founded by powerhouse celebrity attorney Marty Singer – onto Prince Andrew’s legal team.
Singer has been dubbed the ‘Hollywood lawyer who can make any problem go away.’
Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts, aged 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell at Ghislaine Maxwell’s townhouse in London, Britain, in 2001. Prince Andrew was served at his home in Britain with paperwork for the bombshell sexual assault lawsuit
According to a document filed on Friday (above), an affidavit of service was served at the Duke of York’s home in Windsor, England on August 27
Prince Andrew with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson leaving Windsor to drive to the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Scotland Wednesday
Among those who have turned to Singer during times of crisis have been Charlie Sheen and Bill Cosby.
Among the others he has represented include Michael Jackson, Tom Hanks, Naomi Campbell, Demi Moore, Eddie Murphy to name just a few.
Prince Andrew is expected to appear in court Monday after reports last week revealed he was served with the paperwork for the lawsuit on August 27 at Royal Lodge in Windsor by a private investigator hired by Virginia Roberts’ attorneys.
Brettler will be taking on fellow legal heavy hitter, David Boies, during the hearing due to take place at federal court in New York on Monday
The Duke’s lawyers later disputed this and claimed that giving the document to a policeman at the gate of the property did not constitute proper service, legal filings state.
Andrew has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and claimed in an interview with the BBC’s Newsnight show in 2019 that he has never even met Roberts.
Roberts alleges that she was forced to have sex with the Duke three times when she was 17 at the orders of the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, a former friend of Andrew’s.
Court documents filed last week revealed the multiple ways Roberts’s lawyers tried to serve Andrew with the papers, beyond sending an investigator to Royal Lodge.
That included sending copies of the complaint and summons to six different lawyers from four different companies they believed represented Andrew.
They sent the same documents to his public email account and sent them via post and FedEx to his address.
Prince Andrew walking with Jeffrey Epstein in Central Park, New York City in 2011 after the friends left Epstein’s home in Manhattan
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell in 2000. Epstein was found hanging in his cell in Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York in August 2019 while awaiting trial
Roberts (pictured) claims she was forced to have sex with Andrew on three occasions when she was just 17 – under the age of consent in the US
Court documents show that Andrew’s lawyer Gary Bloxsome, of London-based Blackfords solicitors, claimed that did not constitute proper service.
According to court documents, Bloxsome told Boies in a September 6 letter: ‘We reiterate that our client reserves all his rights, including to contest the jurisdiction of the US courts (including on the basis of potentially defective service)’.
Timeline of another dramatic month in the Prince Andrew case
- August 9: Virginia Giuffre files a civil case in New York claiming Prince Andrew sexually abused her aged 17
- August 10: Andrew arrives at Balmoral with his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, and is joined by Eugenie the next day
- August 10: US lawyers were allegedly trying to hold him up on his horse to serve him papers before he left.
- August 12: Dame Cressida Dick says she has told Met Police detectives to review the claims against Andrew
- August 13: Ms Giuffre’s lawyer says Andrew will be served papers in person under the Hague Convention
- August 14: Epstein’s telecoms specialist says he will swear on oath that he saw Andrew groping Ms Giuffre
- August 15: Andrew’s friends say he is ‘cheerful and relaxed’ over the case in and will remain silent
- August 16: A source close to the US probe into Jeffrey Epstein says they view Andrew as a ‘person of interest’
- September 7: Andrew leaves Royal Lodge in Windsor and travels nearly 500 miles to Balmoral in Scotland
- September 10: A court document filed by Virginia Roberts’ legal team says Andrew was served with the paperwork on August 27.
- September 13: First telephone conference in the case is scheduled at Manhattan Federal Court in New York
- December 8: Deadline for Andrew to be served with court papers in person under the Hague Convention
Boies however said in a legal filing that it was absurd to claim that Andrew did not know he had been sued.
He wrote: ‘Attorneys at Blackfords, who he has apparently instructed to evade and contest service, have confirmed that Prince Andrew himself already has notice of this lawsuit and is evaluating his chances of success.’
The lawsuit claimed that Andrew was one of the ‘powerful men’ who Epstein loaned Roberts out to for sex.
It said: ‘Prince Andrew’s actions constitute extreme and outrageous conduct that shocks the conscience.
‘Prince Andrew’s sexual abuse of a child who he knew was a sex-trafficking victim, and when he was approximately 40 years old, goes beyond all possible bounds of decency and is intolerable in a civilized community’.
The lawsuit accused the Duke of York, 61, of ‘publicly feigning ignorance about the scope of Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation and sympathy for Epstein’s victims’ then refusing to cooperate with the FBI, despite promising to do so.
Roberts, who is now 38 and a married mother-of-three living in Australia who goes by her married name, Virginia Giuffre, alleges the first time with the Duke was at the London townhouse of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged madam.
The second time, in early 2001, was at Epstein’s New York mansion, and the third time was on Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean.
The formal allegations against the Duke are battery and infliction of emotional distress.
Under the claim for battery, the lawsuit states Andrew’s actions ‘constitute sexual offences as defined in (New York law) including but not limited to sexual misconduct as defined (as) rape in the third degree, rape in the first degree’.
It also claims the Duke’s conduct amounted to ‘forcible touching, sexual abuse in the third degree, and sexual abuse in the first degree’.
The lawsuit states that Roberts has suffered ‘extreme emotional distress, humiliation, fear, psychological trauma, loss of dignity and self-esteem, and invasion of her privacy’.
Epstein hanged himself in 2019 while awaiting trial and Maxwell is due to go on trial in November for procuring underage girls for him, allegations she denies.