Prince Andrew, who is already in enough trouble with the sex abuse case against him going to trial, has invited further criticism after it appeared that he tried to blame the victim by questioning her mental health.

The lawyers working for the Duke of York have requested the mental health records of his accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and are reportedly planning to question her husband Robert and psychologist Dr. Judith Lightfoot under oath. It is understood that they will try to find "false memories" in Giuffre's recollection that she was sexually assaulted and raped by the royal when she was 17 and trafficked to him by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, reports Mail Online.

The legal filing by Andrew's lawyers stated, "Defendant contends that plaintiff may suffer from false memories, as evidenced by the fact that her claims regarding her time with Epstein and the circumstances under which defendant allegedly assaulted her have repeatedly changed over the years."

Andrews' approach has garnered criticism from legal insiders as well as women's safety experts, who questioned the integrity of such a move that appears like classic "victim-blaming." Spencer Kuvin, a Florida lawyer representing Epstein victims, said attacking a victim's memory was a "horrible" defence. Brad Edwards, another lawyer who represents several Epstein victims, said the strategy is "so tone-deaf that it basically amounts to litigation suicide."

"I'd say his defence can't get worse, but last time I thought that he went on TV and gave what amounted to the most embarrassingly stupid interview of all time," Edwards commented.

Meanwhile, Giuffre's lawyer David Boies came down heavily on Andrew's lawyers and said in a scathing comment, "She wouldn't 'misremember sexual abuse by a Prince of England." He also noted that the approach would be very self-damaging for Andrew as his friend Ghislaine Maxwell had also tried the same at her recent trial and failed.

Boies said, "This is exactly what Maxwell tried. It didn't end well. People may misremember a lot of things, but they don't misremember sexual abuse by a Prince of England. In addition, Prince Andrew needs to say that all the other people who saw them together also have "false memories".'

The attorney also referred to a photograph of Andrew with Giuffre and Maxwell purportedly clicked in London in 2001, questioning, "And how does a 'false memory' create a photograph?"

A source close to Giuffre's legal team said that she "believes Andrew should go to jail but leaving him broke and destroyed may be enough."

Prince Andrew
Graphic detailing what could happen next in the sexual assault lawsuit against Prince Andrew. Jonathan WALTER/AFP