Prince Andrew Reaches Out of Court Settlement on Sexual Assault Charges, Court Docs Say
16:12 GMT 15.02.2022 (Updated: 15:18 GMT 28.05.2023)
© AP Photo / Sakchai LalitIn this Nov. 3, 2019 file photo, Britain's Prince Andrew arrives at ASEAN Business and Investment Summit (ABIS) in Nonthaburi, Thailand. Prince Andrew wasn’t on trial in the Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking case, but her conviction is bad news for the man who is ninth in line to the British throne. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit, file)
© AP Photo / Sakchai Lalit
The royal family member's accuser, Virginia Giuffre, claims that she was trafficked by disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to Prince Andrew while still a minor.
UK Prince Andrew and his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, have reached an out of court settlement in the sexual assault case, released court documents show.
"The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms. Giuffre's receipt of the settlement", the document said.
The documents also said that as a part of the settlement, Prince Andrew will be paying a "substantial donation" to a non-profit founded by Giuffre - Victims Refuse Silence. The doc did not disclose either the sum of the donation or the overall settlement sum.
© Photo : Screenshot//Ellie Hall twitterA tweet containing the text of the statement by Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre's lawyers regarding reachign a settlement.
A tweet containing the text of the statement by Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre's lawyers regarding reachign a settlement.
© Photo : Screenshot//Ellie Hall twitter
According to the same document, Prince Andrew expressed regret over being associated with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who engaged in sex trafficking underage girls. The UK royal family member pledged to demonstrate his regret by supporting the fight against sex trafficking and "supporting its victims".
The released statement regarding the settlement agreement says nothing about Prince Andrew confirming or denying the accusations against him. Instead, it states that the royal never intended "to malign Ms. Giuffre's character".
According to a BuzzFeed reporter, the statement was accompanied by a joint request from Giuffre and the prince to US Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is reviewing the sex assault accusations case, asking him to suspend all proceedings. The two sides also promised to file the documents necessary to dismiss the case for good within 30 days.
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on the news of the settlement.
The settlement on sex offense charges plays into Buckingham Palace's hands and allows the Queen to "push this scandal into the background" and focus on celebrating her Jubilee Year, Pauline Maclaran, professor at Royal Holloway University and co-author of the book Royal Fever, says. Still, it doesn't mean that it's a good outcome for the prince himself, the academic adds.
"Of course, Prince Andrew will be forever tainted badly by this whole episode and so he will be kept firmly out of the public eye and is not likely to resume any official duties", Maclaran says.
Virginia Giuffre's Accusations
While Giuffre had previously spoken about Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking activities, she only filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew in August 2021. She accused him of sexually abusing her when she travelled with the financier while still 17 years old. Prince Andrew vehemently denied her allegations.
Despite the efforts, the royal's legal team failed to toss away the lawsuit filed by the American in the US court, which repeatedly requested Prince Andrew's appearance at the hearings. The legal battle led Prince Andrew to drop all of his ceremonial activities, as well as the Queen stripping him of his royal titles. Buckingham Palace said that Prince Andrew would defend himself in court as a private person and not a royal family member.