Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre’s deal with Epstein released

Giuffre received $500,000 in her lawsuit against Epstein, court papers show

Britain’s Prince Andrew faces a crucial week in his fight against a sexual assault lawsuit. Photograph: Steve Parsons/AFP via Getty

Britain’s Prince Andrew faces a crucial week in his fight against a sexual assault lawsuit. Photograph: Steve Parsons/AFP via Getty

 

A near-dozen-year-old legal settlement between Virginia Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein, the late financier and convicted sex offender whom she accused of sexual abuse, was released on Monday. Ms Giuffre received $500,000 in her lawsuit against Epstein, court papers revealed.

The unsealing stemmed from Giuffre’s sexual abuse lawsuit against Britain’s Prince Andrew, which she filed on August 9th in Manhattan federal court.

Ms Giuffre has long accused Epstein and his sometime girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell - now a convicted sex trafficker, after the conclusion of her New York trial last week - of forcing her into sex with the royal when she was 17.

He vehemently maintains his innocence.

Prince Andrew filed Ms Giuffre’s settlement with Epstein as part of his attempt to dismiss her case, arguing that it shields him. Lawyers for the prince contend the settlement contains provisions that bar Ms Giuffre from taking legal action against many of Epstein’s associates.

The unsealed settlement states that upon receipt of the stipulated sum, Ms Giuffre, referred to under her maiden name, agrees to “remise, release, acquit, satisfy and forever discharge the said second parties and 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, cause and causes of action”.

Prince Andrew is not mentioned in the released settlement. Nor is the lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who Ms Giuffre has accused of sexual misconduct facilitated by Epstein, which he has repeatedly denied.

In a court filing on October 29th , Prince Andrew’s attorneys said: “Giuffre settled her sex-trafficking and sexual-abuse claims against Epstein in 2009. In doing so, she provided Epstein with a general release of all claims against him and numerous other individuals and entities.

“To avoid being dragged into future legal disputes, Epstein negotiated for this broad release, insisting that it cover any and all persons who Giuffre identified as potential targets of future lawsuits, regardless of the merit - or lack thereof - to any such claims.”

The attorneys also said: “Because Prince Andrew is a senior member of the British royal family, he falls into one of the expressly identified categories of persons, ie, royalty, released from liability under the release agreement, along with politicians, academicians, businessmen, and others allegedly associated with Epstein.

“As a third-party beneficiary of the release agreement, Prince Andrew is entitled to enforce the general release contained therein.”

Prince Andrew’s lawyers also said Mr Dershowitz was protected by the agreement. Ms Giuffre filed a defamation lawsuit against the attorney on April 16th 2019. Mr Dershowitz filed the Epstein settlement agreement in his fight against that suit.

“Professor Dershowitz, as a third-party beneficiary of the 2009 settlement agreement, was entitled to rely upon and enforce the terms of that secret deal,” lawyers for Prince Andrew said.

On December 14th, explaining why the settlement should be filed publicly, judges in the Prince Andrew and Dershowitz cases said: “Mr Epstein, as is well known, is deceased. The document is well known to Ms Giuffre and, although under seal, has been available to all parties in these cases for some time.

“We question whether any proper purpose would be served by the continued secrecy of the document save, perhaps, the dollar amount of the settlement it provided for.”

On December 29th , judges ordered the unsealing of the agreement, saying nobody - including representatives of Epstein’s estate - had made an adequate showing as to why it should remain under wraps.

Lawyers for Ms Giuffre have requested documents as part of her litigation, such as proof of Prince Andrew’s claim, in a notorious Newsnight interview, that he cannot sweat.

Ms Giuffre has claimed the duke was “sweating profusely all over me” at a London discotheque on a night when she alleges they had sex.

The duke said on Newsnight that allegation could not be true, “because I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat or I didn’t sweat at the time”.

The prince also maintained that on the day cited by Ms Giuffre he took his daughter Beatrice to a late-afternoon children’s party at a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking, Surrey. Following the pizza party, he said, he was home with his children all night.

Prince Andrew’s public profile has been damaged considerably by his controversial association with Maxwell and Epstein.

On December 29th , a federal jury in Manhattan found Maxwell, the daughter of the late press baron Robert Maxwell, guilty on five counts - including sex trafficking - for luring girls as young as 14 into Epstein’s orbit for him to sexually abuse. Maxwell, 60, says she is innocent. Her lawyers said they planned to appeal.

Epstein, who also counted former presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton among his associates, was arrested in July 2019 for sex trafficking teen girls. He killed himself about a month after his arrest in a New York jail, while awaiting trial.– Guardian News and Media 2022