Prince Andrew: Court unseals deal between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre
Lawyers for the Duke of York, who “unequivocally denies” the claims made by Virginia Giuffre, believe her agreement with Epstein could shield him from her civil lawsuit accusing him of sexual abuse in 2001.
03rd Jan 2022
The release of the 2009 agreement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, could be key to a legal case involving Prince Andrew. Giuffre is suing the Duke of York for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager – a claim he has denied.
After the unsealing of the deal, lawyers for Prince Andrew will argue to Judge Lewis A Kaplan, sitting at the US district court, that the agreement between Giuffre and Epstein means she cannot take action against their client.
Details of the confidential deal were made public on Monday following an order by US judges.
Disgraced sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a former friend of the Duke of York, was convicted of sex offences in 2008 and killed himself while in jail in 2019 awaiting trial on further sex trafficking charges. His close associate, Ghislaine Maxwell was last week convicted of sex trafficking in a federal court in New York and faces up to 65 years in prison.
According to reports, the 2009 settlement between Virginia Giuffre and the disgraced Epstein reveals he agreed to pay her $500,000 to end her legal claims against him “upon payment and clearance of the settlement amount,” including it would “forever discharge… any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant… from all, and all manner of, action and actions of Virginia Roberts, including state or federal…”
This agreement was however made in Florida, which Andrew had no part in, though her legal team insists this does not mean Andrew should get to use his royalty as a “get out of jail free card.”
Giuffre claims she was trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and forced to have sex with the Duke of York when she was a teenager. Prince Andrew has categorically denied the claims, and when they first came to light in 2019, Buckingham Palace hastily released a statement backing him up, but it hasn’t stopped proceedings moving forward.
Prince Andrew has frequently said he has no recollection of meeting Virginia Giuffre, nor of any photo being taken with her and has repeatedly denied he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with her
In an interview responding to the claims back in 2019, the Queen’s son said he “categorically” denied having any sexual contact with Giuffre, one of Jeffrey’s accusers, who was aged 17 at the time. The royal told Emily Maitlis: “It didn’t happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
“He knows what happened,” she said in a televised interview. “I know what happened and there’s only one of us telling the truth, and I know that’s me.”
The accusations led to Prince Andrew withdrawing from his royal duties for “the foreseeable future” and the accusations and now impending legal trial means that he withdrew from the public.
Judge Lewis A Kaplan, is due to hold a video teleconference on Tuesday when a request by the duke’s legal team to dismiss the case will be heard.
The release of the settlement comes after the duke’s lawyers called for the lawsuit against him to be halted or thrown out due to Giuffre living in Australia and not the US.