Prince Andrew 'Was Under Pressure From Queen, Prince Charles to Settle Giuffre Sex Abuse Case'

© AFP 2023 / BEN STANSALLIn this file photo taken on May 21, 2019 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, (R) arrive for a garden party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace in central London
In this file photo taken on May 21, 2019 Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) and Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, (R) arrive for a garden party in the grounds of Buckingham Palace in central London - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.02.2022
The Duke of York's protracted struggle to fend off accusations of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl has ended, as it became known on Tuesday that he agreed to an out-of-court deal with the plaintiff worth about £12 million ($16 million). The royal will allegedly pay the settlement with money partially provided by the Queen.
Prince Andrew was under "intense pressure from the very top", including from Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles, to settle a civil sex abuse case with Virginia Giuffre, The Mirror has cited unnamed sources as saying.

The sources claimed that after the Duke of York admitted to the Queen last month that his efforts to have the case thrown out had failed, "it was made absolutely crystal clear to Andrew he has to sort this mess out".

According to the insiders, "it would have been unthinkable for the case to have reached trial under the glare of the international media".

They argued that the case "has been a disaster from the start and everyone was in agreement it had not only destroyed his reputation but had the capacity to seriously damage that of the monarchy as well. In such an important year for the Queen, enough was enough".

One of the sources added that "everyone is hoping they can start looking towards the [Queen's] Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer, as well as a Westminster Abbey service to remember the late Prince Philip next month".
The insiders also asserted that Prince Andrew still "wholly maintains his innocence" and that he "believes he can still find a way back into public life".
The claims come after lawyers for the Duke of York and Giuffre said in a letter to US Judge Lewis Kaplan that Prince Andrew and his accuser had reached a "settlement in principle".

"The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms Giuffre's receipt of the settlement", the lawyers added without disclosing the sum. The Telegraph reported, however, that the royal is going to pay the £12 million ($16 million) court settlement with money partially provided by the Queen.

According to the newspaper, it would be difficult for the Duke of York to pay the expenses on his own, since he lives on a "modest Navy pension and an annual £250,000 ($338,600) stipend from the Queen". The Telegraph added that the payment must be transferred to the plaintiff's account within the next 30 days.
The lawyers, for their part, asserted in the letter that Prince Andrew "has never intended to malign Ms Giuffre's character, and he accepts she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks. It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years".
They added that the Duke of York "regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors […]. He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against […] sex trafficking, and by supporting victims". According to them, Prince Andrew will be paying a "substantial donation" to a non-profit founded by Giuffre - Victims Refuse Silence. The letter did not disclose the sum of the donation.

Giuffre Sex Abuse Case

The settlement came after months of efforts by the Duke of York to settle the civil sex abuse lawsuit lodged by Giuffre in a US court in August 2021, when she claimed that the now-late financier and paedophile Jeffrey Epstein forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew several times. The Duke of York has repeatedly rejected any wrongdoing.
The latest attempt by Prince Andrew's lawyers to hamper Giuffre's efforts to proceed with the lawsuit pertains to their requesting access to the original photograph showing her with the Duke of York's hand around her waist. The photo is said to have been taken in 2001 in Ghislaine Maxwell's London home, where the now-late convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein was also in attendance.

Appealing to reports that the original photo is now "not in Giuffre's possession, the lawyers argued that without the hard copy original, it's impossible to prove the image was not manipulated. Prince Andrews has repeatedly questioned the authenticity of the image.

Despite previous efforts, the royal's legal team failed to prevent the Duke of York's testimony in court, and the out-of-court settlement was reached just a few weeks before Andrew was due to be questioned under oath by Giuffre's lawyers. Last month, the Queen stripped the Duke of York of the title "His Royal Highness", royal duties, and some of his military ranks over the case.
Epstein was found dead in his New York jail cell in August 2019, with officials claiming that he committed suicide. The cause of his death, however, remains disputed amid conspiracy theories speculating over whether he was murdered to prevent him from testifying against his high-profile friends, including Prince Andrew, Donald Trump, and Bill Clinton.
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