Queen Elizabeth II will mark 70 years on the throne in February, a milestone unmatched by any British sovereign and a chance to turn the page on three years of ceaseless turmoil in the royal family. But a sexual-abuse lawsuit unfolding in a Manhattan courtroom could yet spoil her celebration.
On Tuesday, lawyers for the queen’s second son, Prince Andrew, asked a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, in which she claims that Andrew, a friend of the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, raped her when she was 17.
It was the latest in a skein of legal maneuvers by the prince’s lawyers to defuse Ms. Giuffre’s case. While the judge, Lewis A. Kaplan, did not immediately rule on the motion, leaving Andrew’s legal fate unsettled for now, the hearing dramatized the shadow that the 61-year-old prince still casts over his family.
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