Prince Andrew’s last-ditch effort to escape the civil case against him failed. Instead the British royal will be forced to reckon with his alleged sexual assault of Virginia Giuffre when she was 17, and will have to do so in an American court.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan from the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York said in his 46-page decision that Giuffre’s suit against the Duke of York was for “sexually abusing her when she was under the age of eighteen” by means of “the late Jeffrey Epstein and others who trafficked her to Prince Andrew.”
Andrew’s legal team argues that secret 2009 agreement between Giuffre, formerly Virginia Roberts, and sex offender Epstein, would release Prince Charles from liability, even though the recently unveiled documents don’t mention Andrew by name.
The settlement signed by Giuffre for $500,000 from Epstein, was, according to Prince Andrew’s legal team, meant to “resolve the sex abuse case against him.”
Though the document doesn’t mention Andrew by name, the contract stipulates that “other potential defendants” are included in the agreement, with the Prince attempting to take cover behind the vague category of “other potential defendants.”
The agreement declares that such “potential defendants” are thereafter released, acquitted, and forever discharged “from all, and all manner of, action and actions of Virginia Roberts.”
Judge Kaplan wrote in his decision that the fact that the defendant attempted to shield himself behind such language is “well known to lawyers… perhaps not known to the lay public” as a confession of guilt. In Kaplan’s words, “by making this motion — placed upon the Court the unyielding duty to assume — for the purposes of the motion only — the truth of all the plaintiff’s allegations.” Kaplan added that Prince Andrew’s failed ploy does the opposite of “cast[ing] doubt on the truth of Ms. Giuffre’s allegations.”
Kaplan also suggested that the settlement between Giuffre and Epstein was dubious as best and said that the Court could not decide at this stage just what “the 2009 settlement agreement… actually meant.”
Kaplan brought the hammer down on Prince Andrew when he declared his efforts to dismiss the trial “denied in all respects.”
Author: Anne Harris