Prince Andrew returns to the Royal Lodge to meet his new granddaughter

Prince Andrew was swept into Windsor Castle last night as he prepares to meet his new grandchild for the first time with the legal row over whether he had sex with one of paedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s young slaves rumbling on today.

The Duke of York spent the summer at Balmoral with his mother the Queen and his ex-wife, Sarah, Duchess of York, despite the arrival of his first grandchild earlier this month. 

Princess Beatrice gave birth to her first child on September 18 – but it appears he has waited until 12 days after she entered the world, arriving at his Royal Lodge home yesterday evening.

His arrival at Windsor came after he brazenly waved as he was pictured leaving Balmoral – just days after he officially recognised a sexual assault lawsuit served to him by Virginia Roberts.   

Andrew has also beefed up his legal team with a Princeton-educated female attorney as he prepares to fight the sexual assault lawsuit brought by a Jeffrey Epstein accuser who claims she was raped by the royal as a teen.

Court documents, filed yesterday and obtained exclusively by DailyMail.com, reveal the Duke of York, who denies the claims made against him, has asked Melissa Lerner to join his team. Lerner is from Los Angeles-based Lavley Singer – a top law firm known for making celebrities’ legal problems disappear. 

The same day, an attorney for Andrew’s accuser Virginia Roberts said Epstein’s estate had agreed to disclose the details of a secret settlement between her and Epstein – which the duke is arguing could protect him from liability.

Prince Andrew returns to Windsor after spending the Summer at Balmoral with his mother and ex-wife as he is understood to be meeting his new grandchild for the first time

Prince Andrew, 61, was all smiles as he left Balmoral today, three weeks after fleeing to the Scottish estate

Prince Andrew, 61, was all smiles as he left Balmoral today, three weeks after fleeing to the Scottish estate

He was pictured leaving Balmoral just days after he officially recognised a sexual assault lawsuit served to him by Virgina Giuffre.

He was pictured leaving Balmoral just days after he officially recognised a sexual assault lawsuit served to him by Virgina Giuffre.

Pictured: The Duke of York with Virginia Roberts, then 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell in London

Pictured: The Duke of York with Virginia Roberts, then 17, and Ghislaine Maxwell in London 

The Duke of York, 61, had been hiding out at the Queen’s Scottish estate for three weeks to escape the legal row but was all smiles as he left Balmoral today. 

Court documents reveal the Duke of York has asked hotshot lawyer Melissa Lerner (above) to join his team

The royal earlier acknowledged the lawsuit against him by Ms Roberts, who now uses the surname Giuffre, who claims Andrew abused her on multiple occasions in 2001 when she was under 18. His lawyer has called the allegations ‘baseless’ and he has always denied any wrongdoing. 

The acknowledgment was confirmed in a joint agreement signed by a lawyer for Prince Andrew, approved by a Manhattan federal judge and entered into the public court record on Tuesday.

The court papers said Andrew had been challenging acceptance of the lawsuit until lawyers spoke by phone on September 21. An agreement was signed three days later, according to the order signed by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan.

MailOnline had previously reported that Andrew’s legal team accepted that he had been correctly served with legal papers by his sex accuser. This has now been entered in the official public record.   

Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, had previously said he expected the prince’s US lawyer, Andrew B Brettler, to apply for a ‘reasonable’ extension to respond to the complaint – and indicated they would likely agree to it.

The prince must now file responses to the lawsuit’s claims by October 29. A conference has been scheduled for November 3.

Delivering a lawsuit to a defendant is usually a routine matter but can be more complicated when a defendant resides outside the United States.

A judge must be satisfied that a defendant has been properly notified of the allegations and has a reasonable period of time to respond to them.  

Lawyers for Giuffre had told the judge that they’d delivered the lawsuit to Andrew in numerous ways, though never directly into his hands. 

At one point, Britain’s high court accepted a request from Giuffre’s lawyers to formally contact Andrew about the lawsuit.

Los Angeles attorney Andrew Brettler, who signed the papers on Andrew’s behalf acknowledging the prince was aware of the lawsuit, had argued at a hearing this month that Giuffre’s claim was ‘baseless, nonviable and potentially unlawful.’

In late 2019, Andrew told the BBC ‘Newsnight’ program that he never had sex with Giuffre, saying, ‘It didn’t happen.’

Brettler has said that Andrew cannot be sued because an earlier lawsuit in the United States that was settled ‘absolves our client from any and all liability.’ That 2009 settlement document, however, remains sealed. 

Prince Andrew walking with Jeffrey Epstein in Central Park, New York City in 2011 after the friends left Epstein's home in Manhattan

Prince Andrew walking with Jeffrey Epstein in Central Park, New York City in 2011 after the friends left Epstein’s home in Manhattan

Virginia 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. He denies the allegations

Virginia 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. He denies the allegations 

The court papers said Andrew had been challenging acceptance of the lawsuit until lawyers spoke by phone on September 21. An agreement was signed three days later, according to the order signed by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan

The court papers said Andrew had been challenging acceptance of the lawsuit until lawyers spoke by phone on September 21. An agreement was signed three days later, according to the order signed by Judge Lewis A. Kaplan

Ms Giuffre is suing the Queen’s son for allegedly sexually assaulting her on multiple occasions.

Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.

Epstein was found dead in his cell at a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019 while he awaited a sex trafficking trial.

The death was ruled to be suicide.

Ms Giuffre is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the sum could be in the millions of dollars.

Court documents show that lawyers for both sides spoke on September 21 and the time for the duke to respond was extended.

This latest point in the legal process is so a judge can be satisfied that proper notification of the allegations has been delivered to the defendant and they have enough time to respond.

In a previous legal hearing Mr Brettler said that Ms Giuffre had previously entered into a ‘settlement agreement’ with Epstein in 2009 that would nullify her case.

The 2009 settlement is currently sealed.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk

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