Prince Andrew's Lawyer Granted Access to Accuser's Epstein Deal That Might Nullify Sex Abuse Lawsuit
07:09 GMT 07.10.2021 (Updated: 15:16 GMT 28.05.2023)
Virginia Giuffre, who claims she was a victim of Jeffrey Epstein, filed a civil lawsuit claiming Prince Andrew “raped and committed sexual assault and battery” on her when she was 17 and a minor under US law. The Duke of York has always denied the woman’s allegations, and previously said he does not recall ever meeting her.
Prince Andrew’s legal team have been granted access to a copy of the 2009 sealed settlement agreement his accuser, Virginia Giuffre (née Roberts) previously signed with the late Jeffrey Epstein, reported Sky News.
US District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan granted permission for the royal’s lawyers to receive a copy of the confidential agreement between the convicted sex felon and Giuffre pertaining to a Florida state case to which the royal was not a party.
According to Andrew Brettler, the Duke of York's lawyer, he expects to shortly receive the agreement that might nullify the current sexual assault lawsuit filed against the Queen’s son.
"Earlier today, Judge Preska ordered that the agreement can be disclosed to me, as Prince Andrew's attorney. I haven't received the agreement yet, but anticipate that Mr Boies will provide it to me shortly," Sky News cited Brettler as saying.
The royal’s attorney had argued at the first pre-trial hearing of the case in September that Giuffre had agreed in 2009 not to sue anyone else connected to Epstein when she settled her damages claim against the tycoon, who died in prison in 2019.
"There has been a settlement agreement that the plaintiff has entered into in a prior action that releases the duke and others from any and all potential liability," stated the lawyer.
The precise wording of the deal has remained confidential until now. Earlier, in a letter to the court, Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, said he had requested and received permission from the Epstein estate to share the documents with the prince, and asked the court to approve it.
Boies added the document, in his opinion, would be “irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew” but that his lawyers had “the right to review the release and make whatever arguments they believe appropriate based on it”.
Prince Andrew’s defence had earlier accepted the legal papers from the lawsuit after a legal wrangle over whether the royal had been properly served with documents in the case. The next pre-trial hearing set for 3 November.
© AP Photo / Bebeto MatthewsVirginia Roberts Giuffre, center, who says she was trafficked by sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, holds a news conference outside a Manhattan court
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, center, who says she was trafficked by sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, holds a news conference outside a Manhattan court
© AP Photo / Bebeto Matthews
Virginia Giuffre sued Prince Andrew in federal court in Manhattan in August, accusing him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17, and a minor by US law. The woman, now 38, claims the royal, who was a friend of the billionaire Epstein, sexually abused her on three occasions: in the financier’s New York home, on his private island in the US Virgin Islands and in the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell.
© AP Photo / John MinchilloJeffrey Epstein Associate
Jeffrey Epstein Associate
© AP Photo / John Minchillo
The British socialite, a former lover and purportedly “pimp” of the deceased convicted pedophile, is currently in jail awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. She has pleaded not guilty to helping recruit and groom underage girls for Epstein. Her trial in Manhattan is scheduled for 29 November. Prince Andrew has denied all the allegations.
© Photo : Florida Southern District CourtPrince Andrew, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell. This photo was included in an affidavit in which Giuffre alleged that she was directed to have sex with Andrew
Prince Andrew, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell. This photo was included in an affidavit in which Giuffre alleged that she was directed to have sex with Andrew
© Photo : Florida Southern District Court
During his interview with BBC Newsnight in 2019, he said: "I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever."
Prince Andrew’s apparent lack of remorse or consorting with convicted sex offender Epstein in what was dubbed a “car crash” interview generated strong backlash, prompting the Queen’s son to shortly permanently resign from all his public roles. Jeffrey Epstein died in a New York jail cell in 2019 after being charged with multiple child sex offences. His death was officially ruled a suicide.