Prince Andrew has been served with a sexual assault lawsuit Monday by lawyers in the United States on behalf of Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claimed she was forced to have sex with him at a London home. Lawyers for Giuffre filed the civil lawsuit with the US District Court in Manhattan and had sent it to the British royal's lawyer based in Los Angeles.

According to The Guardian, Giuffre is seeking unspecified damages against the Duke of York who allegedly forced himself on her when she was 17 years old. The said incident took place at the London home of socialite Ghislaine Maxwell as well in other properties owned by Jeffrey Epstein such as his mansion in Manhattan and his private island in the US Virgin Islands.

Giuffre’s lawyers said Andrew had been officially served with the papers in the UK on Sept.10. However, the prince’s legal team contested during the first pre-trial hearing last week in New York with his Los Angeles lawyer Andrew Brettler calling the case “baseless, non-viable and potentially unlawful.”

Brettler also claimed that Andrew may be protected from the lawsuit under a “secret settlement agreement” between Giuffre and Epstein, which releases the duke from any and all liability. The agreement is said to have been previously sealed by a court.

Meanwhile, the prince’s legal team said that he had not been properly served notice of the proceedings. Giuffre's legal team on the other hand said the papers were served at the prince's home in Windsor, England.

David Boies, legal representative to Giuffre said that the complaint was delivered to the defendant’s last known address. He added that documents were also sent by Royal Mail and were previously handed over to a Metropolitan police officer on duty at the main gates of the duke’s Windsor Great Park home on Aug. 27.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan addressed the matter citing that "service of the defendant's United States counsel is reasonably calculated to bring the papers served to the defendant's attention, regardless of whether his US counsel is 'authorized' to accept service on his behalf."

The Duke of York has 21 days to respond, else under federal rules, he could face default judgement. The 61-year-old has never been charged with crimes and strongly denies Giuffre’s allegations. In her lawsuit, Giuffre accused the prince of crimes under the New York’s Child Victims Act signed by former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, which allows child sexual abuse survivors a window of time to sue their alleged abusers for acts that took place years earlier.

Giuffre’s lawyers have since been rushing to file the lawsuit given the deadline of the one-year extension on Aug. 14. The window deadline, however, may have already passed for Giuffre. 

Prince Andrew The Duke of York the opening of a new building for the collaborative research facility at The Hartree Centre in Daresbury. Science and Technology Facilities Council Follow/Flickr