Saturday, December 3, 2022

Prince Andrew Settles Sexual Assault Lawsuit With Epstein Accuser Virginia Giuffre

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Topline
Prince Andrew, who was sued in the U.S. over allegations he sexually abused an American teenager being trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, has settled out of court with accuser Virginia Giuffre to avoid a trial. 

Prince Andrew, Duke of York, leaves the funeral service of Patricia Knatchbull, Countess Mountbatten … [+] of Burma, at St. Paul’s Church in Knightsbridge on June 27, 2017, in London.

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Key Facts

The sum of the settlement will not be publicly disclosed, according to a joint court filing from Tuesday morning.

The documents state that Andrew has also agreed to donate “substantial” funds to a charity Giuffre runs that supports victims’ rights, and that he “never intended to malign” Giuffre.

Andrew did not admit guilt in the filing, but acknowledged Giuffre is “an established victim of abuse” and a target of “unfair public attacks,” and commended her—and other abuse victims’—bravery in speaking out.

The prince was set to go to court later this year after a U.S. judge ruled against his legal teams’ efforts to have Giuffre’s case thrown out.

Tangent
Giuffre previously settled a sex abuse lawsuit with Epstein in 2013 for $500,000, according to documents that were unsealed as part of her lawsuit against Andrew. The move was one of the prince’s attempts to have the suit thrown out by arguing the Epstein settlement shielded potential defendants from future lawsuits brought by Giuffre. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan disagreed, and last month ruled the case would go to court. Andrew demanded a jury trial three weeks ago.

Surprising Fact
Last month, Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies indicated she was unlikely to accept a “purely financial settlement” with Andrew. “I think it’s very important to Virginia Giuffre that this matter be resolved in a way that vindicates her and vindicates the other victims,” he told the BBC.

Key Background
Giuffre filed the lawsuit against Andrew last summer, saying he sexually assaulted her three different times when she was 17 years old and being trafficked by Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite who is believed to have introduced Andrew and Epstein. Epstein committed suicide in jail while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges in 2019, and Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking after a high-profile trial last year. During Maxwell’s trial, accusers testified about flying on private planes with Andrew and hearing Maxwell brag about her friendship with the prince, but never accused him of committing any crimes. Andrew has maintained his innocence, but stepped back from public life as a senior working member of the British royal family in 2019 after backlash over the allegations and his friendship with Epstein. Last month, Andrew’s mother, Queen Elizabeth, stripped him of his military titles.

Further Reading
Prince Andrew Demands Jury Trial In Sexual Assault Lawsuit (Forbes)

Calls Rise To Strip Prince Andrew Of Title As Duke Of York (Forbes)

Queen Strips Prince Andrew Of Military Titles As Sex Abuse Trial Looms (Forbes)

Prince Andrew To Face U.S. Civil Sex Assault Trial (Forbes)

Prince Andrew Gives First Public Interview Since Stepping Down As A Working Royal Over Epstein Ties (Forbes)

Prince Andrew Sued In U.S. Court By Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Virginia Giuffre (Forbes)

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