The Duke of York has officially been served with the civil lawsuit alleging sexual assault, according to a document lodged with a New York court on Friday.
He was served on August 27 at his home in Windsor and has until September 17 to respond, the affidavit states.
“Service was accepted by Metropolitan Police Office/Head of Security at Royal Lodge,” according to his accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s legal team
The suit was formally served by “corporate investigator” Cesar Augusto Sepulveda, who works for a London-based process server.
Mr Sepulveda arrived at Royal Lodge at 9.30am on August 26, left a business card and was asked to wait before speaking to two Metropolitan Police officers, the document reveals.
They were unable to raise the Duke’s private secretary but told him they had been told not to accept any court papers and gave him a number for his lawyer, Gary Bloxsome, for whom he left a message.
Staff had “already been primed not to allow anyone access onto the property to serve court process and instructed anyone not to accept the service,” according to the document.
Mr Sepulveda returned to Royal Lodge at 9.15am the following day and spoke to the head of security, who told him to leave the paperwork at the main gates and that it would be forwarded to the Duke’s legal team.
The complaint and summons, enclosed in a plastic sleeve and A4 envelope, addressed to the Duke, was therefore deemed officially served, according to the affidavit.
However, despite the detailed claims made in the court document, Mr Bloxsome has rejected the method of service, which he described as “regrettable” and procedurally improper.
He accused Ms Giuffre’s legal team of failing to follow correct procedures, claiming the lawsuit should be served via a British court official, who would act as an intermediary.
If the judge overseeing the case makes such a request, he said it was “likely” the Duke would “agree to a convenient method of alternative service,” according to a letter obtained by ABC News/Yahoo News