Everything you need to know about Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre’s sex assault claim settlement
Prince Andrew is England’s Queen Elizabeth’s third child and second son. His reputation took a huge hit when allegations over his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein surfaced.
He was facing a civil lawsuit in the United States over claims he sexually assaulted a woman named Virginia Giuffre (also known as Virginia Roberts) when she was 17. Giuffre is now 38.
Giuffre alleges Epstein forced her to perform sex acts with the royal – claims that Andrew denies. She also sued Epstein in 2009, accusing him of sexually assaulting her when she was 15 as well as trafficking her to others. Giuffre said Andrew forced her to have intercourse on three occasions at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s longtime associate.
But then a settlement agreement between Epstein and Giuffre was made public earlier this year and included a section stating “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” was released from liability.
Andrew’s lawyers have called the lawsuit “baseless,” saying Giuffre is just using this to get money. They have also used the previous settlement between Epstein and Giuffre to say that Giuffre doesn’t have a right to sue Andrew.
In January, Andrew’s lawyers failed to persuade a US judge to throw out the civil lawsuit against him. And after that, Buckingham Palace said in a statement, “With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
After facing the possibility of trial as early as September of this year, Andrew has agreed to settle the case for an undisclosed sum, according to court papers filed Tuesday and announced by Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies in a letter to the judge. With this, Andrew is dodging a possible US courtroom showdown.
As part of the settlement, Andrew must make “a substantial donation” to Giuffre’s charity supporting victim’s rights.
“It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years,” the letter said. “Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others. He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.”
He would have likely faced seven-figure legal fees if he had gone to trial. The cost of settling is expected to be well in excess of $5 million pounds (US$6.8 million). With Andrew now a private citizen, funding the legal fight may have been difficult.
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