Describing Roberts’s allegations as “duplicative” of the existing lawsuit, the judge said the lawsuit already sought to overturn Epstein’s plea agreement on behalf of all “other similarly-situated victims”.

Marra noted in his order that US law empowers judges to “strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter.”

Allegations that Roberts was also made to have sex with Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor and another friend of Epstein, were also struck from the case by Marra. The judge said a legal attempt by Dershowitz to intervene in the case was now unnecessary.

In recent weeks the duke has carried out more engagements, including opening the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) Air Response Unit prior to Easter and before that leading a “Pitch@Palace” event, a Dragons Den-style scheme to match investors with entrepreneurs using technology in the creative industries.

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