Secret 2008 document that Prince Andrew’s lawyers say protects him against lawsuit brought by Virginia should be made public, judge says
- Deal was reached by Virginia Roberts, now known as Giuffre, and Jeffrey Epstein
- Prince’s lawyers argue that the agreement protects him against her new lawsuit
- Giuffre claims that Andrew sexually abused her on three occasions in 2001
- The Duke of York has vehemently denied the allegations
- Lawsuit brought by Giuffre is separate to the ongoing trial of Ghislaine Maxwell
A secret 2008 settlement that Prince Andrew’s lawyers say protects him against a lawsuit brought by Virginia Roberts should be made public, a judge in New York has said.
The agreement was reached by Roberts, now Giuffre, and pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was found hanged in his prison cell in 2019 while awaiting trial in New York.
Giuffre was among dozens of women who accused Epstein, 66, of sexually abusing them when they were underage.
Attorney Andrew Brettler has argued that the deal also shields the Duke of York from a separate claim brought by Giuffre this year, alleging that Andrew sexually abused her on multiple occasions, including at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London townhouse when she was 17.
The prince has not been charged with any crime and has always strenuously denied the allegations.
Maxwell, Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, is on trial in New York on allegations that she procured underage girls for the financier. Those proceedings are separate to the lawsuit brought against Andrew by Giuffre.
Prince Andrew arriving at Windsor Castle in his Range Rover on Wednesday
This picture, dated 2001, shows Andrew (left) with his arm around the bare midriff of a 17-year-old Giuffre (center), while Ghislaine Maxwell (right) grins in the background
Giuffre alleges she was trafficked by Jeffery Epstein (left) and Ghislaine Maxwell (right) beginning when she was underage
Virginia Roberts, now known as Giuffre, has alleged that Prince Andrew sexually abused her multiple times when she was underage in 2001 while she was being trafficked by Jeffery Epstein
In a brief order issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska said that absent any valid objection by Epstein’s estate, the 2008 deal should be made public on or before December 22 as part of Andrew’s case.
Preska said the court questions ‘whether any proper purpose would be served by the continued secrecy of the document save, perhaps, the dollar amount the settlement provided it for.’
Today, the Duke of York, 61, was seen driving his Range Rover into Windsor Castle following last night’s developments in the lawsuit which his lawyer calls ‘baseless.’
Giuffre, 38, sued Andrew for unspecified damages in August, saying he forced her to have sex with him at Maxwell’s Belgravia home, and also at Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and the US Virgin Islands in 2001, when she was 17.
Andrew has ‘unequivocally’ denied Giuffre’s claims and accused her of seeking ‘another payday’ in her drive to profit from her association with Epstein.
The ongoing legal battle has been beset by arguments over whether the Royal was properly served with Giuffre’s lawsuit.
Andrew and his accuser have since agreed that service was effective as of September 21, according to filing at the US District Court in Manhattan.
That agreement ended a month-long attempt by Andrew’s legal team to block Giuffre’s lawsuit and stop the prince from having to defend against it.
In new developments this week, his lawyers submitted that they believe the law which the case was filed under – the New York’s Child Victims Act – is unconstitutional.
Brettler described Giuffre’s allegations as ‘vague’ after she said the Duke used her to ‘gratify his own sexual desires’ and accused him of ‘victim shaming’.
Mr Brettler referred to Giuffre’s complaint as ‘ambiguous at best and unintelligible at worst’, reports The Sun.
He added: ‘Giuffre’s refusal to include anything but the most conclusory allegations is puzzling given her pattern of disclosing to the media the purported details of the same allegations.
‘Perhaps it is Giuffre’s tendency to change her story that prompted her to keep the allegations of the Complaint vague, so as not to commit to any specific account.’
The Duke’s lawyers are scheduled to argue for a dismissal of the lawsuit at a hearing before Judge Kaplan in Manhattan on January 4, 2022.
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