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Montevideo, May 30th 2023 - 16:46 UTC



Duke of York reaches off-court settlement with his alleged victim

Tuesday, February 15th 2022 - 20:38 UTC
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Legal teams for both parties said they will request the case be dismissed within 30 days Legal teams for both parties said they will request the case be dismissed within 30 days

The Duke of York has reached an off-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre, the American woman who filed sexual abuse charges against him in August 2021, it was reported Tuesday.

Prince Andrew, ninth in line to the British throne, was said to have engaged in sexual misconduct with Giuffre, at a time she was still underaged. The alleged encounters presumably took place at London, New York and the Virgin Islands properties belonging either to disgraced US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who took his own life in 2019 while in jail pending trial for sex trafficking or to his associate Ghislaine Maxwell.

Giuffre's lawyer David Boies has delivered a document to New York Judge Lewis A. Kaplan indicating the parties “have reached an out-of-court settlement.” The details of the agreement were not released to the press, but Giuffre is expected to drop all charges against Queen Elizabeth II's second son, whom She nevertheless stripped of most of his royal attributes such as the right to use of the HRH prefix.

According to media reports, the Prince is to make a substantial donation to a humanitarian organization Giuffre has founded to help others who have purportedly been through life experiences similar to hers. The exact sum was not made public but some media specualated it would be around £14 million.

The Duke of York was “one of the powerful men” to whom Giuffre was “delivered for sexual purposes” between 2000 and 2002, when she was 16 years old, and were made through the extensive sex trafficking network for which Epstein was jailed. The financier committed suicide in a Manhattan jail in August 2019.

Giuffre claims she feared for her life when she was allegedly forced to have sex with Andrew, who is accused of having been aware of her age and status as a “sex-trafficking victim”.

The scandal had seen the Royal Family shaken to its foundations as the Duke was stripped of his titles and banished from public life. In 2019, the Prince was removed from public work and his military titles and royal patronage were withdrawn. Queen Elizabeth II made this historic decision for the duration of the trial in the United States for sexual abuse and thus face the image crisis of the British crown. The news was announced by Buckingham Palace.

The Prince was facing a gruelling legal clash, which could have probed claims such as he could not sweat at the time. The settlement will now leave many questions unanswered. Andrew has also pledged to “demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein” by supporting the “fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims,” it was reported.

Giuffre had first gone public about her case in 2011 but not until 2021 did she take it to the courts. She claims she was trafficked and forced to have sex with Andrew for the first time at Maxwell’s house in London after a night out.

“Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks,” Tuesday's document read. It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years. “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.”

Giuffre's and Andrew's legal teams have expressed jointly that they will file for the case to be dismissed within 30 days.

Andrew was named as the only defendant in the suit, brought under New York State’s Child Victims Act, though Epstein and Maxwell are mentioned frequently throughout. Maxwell is now sitting in a New York prison for the duration of her criminal trial in the same trafficking case.

In an infamous interview with the BBC’s Emily Maitlis in November 2019, Andrew denied claims that he slept with Ms Giuffre and said he had “no recollection” of ever meeting her. He also said he has no memory of the well-known photograph of him with his arm around Ms Giuffre’s waist at Maxwell’s house, and has questioned whether it was his own hand in the image.

Categories: International.

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