Secret Epstein settlement with Prince Andrew accuser to be made public
Jeffrey Epstein’s confidential deal with Virginia Giuffre was unsealed by a New York court on Monday, revealing she was set to collect $500,000 from the financier in 2009.
Lawyers of Prince Andrew have said that the agreement protects the Duke of York from claims brought by Ms Giuffre and will be grounds for the sexual assault lawsuit’s dismissal.
Ms Giuffre, in the court documents, says that she was a victim of sex trafficking and abuse by Epstein from the age of 16. She has said that part of the abuse involved being lent out to other powerful men — including Prince Andrew.
She has accused him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions when she was under the age of 18, a claim the Duke has denied.
Amid the unsealing, a veteran of the Grenadier Guards, Julian Perreira, has become the first to go on record calling for the Duke of York to step down from the army.
Mr Perreira, a former lance sergeant who served three tours of Afghanistan in 2007, 2009 and 2012, told The Times the duke’s continued involvement would “stain” the regiment’s history.
Andrew took on the ceremonial position from his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, in 2017.
Unsealed deal could help Prince Andrew secure dismissal, lawyer says
The secret settlement deal between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Roberts Giuffre could help Prince Andrew secure a dismissal of her sexual abuse case against him – but it all comes down to the judge.
The settlement, which does not mention Prince Andrew by name, provided a release for “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant” against Ms Giuffre’s claims.
According to journalist and lawyer Lucia Osborne-Crowley, the vague language in the settlement could spell success for Prince Andrew, who is seeking to have Ms Giuffre’s sexual assault civil suit against him thrown out.
“It is very possible that the settlement agreement between Virginia Roberts and Jeffrey Epstein protects Prince Andrew,” Ms Osborne-Crowley told The Independent.
“That’s because the language in the settlement is very broad — it says that any third party that could be considered a ‘potential defendant’ in the Epstein lawsuit will be ‘forever’ shielded from any and all claims brought by Ms Roberts.
“It also specifically says that all potential defendants are protected from all lawsuits regardless of whether they are brought in federal or state court.”
The Independent’s Megan Sheets has more:
Megan Sheets3 January 2022 21:00
VOICES: Royal will family will survive Prince Andrew’s Epstein storm
In a new column for The Independent, Sean O’Grady explains his belief that the royal family will survive regardless of what happens with Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against Prince Andrew.
Megan Sheets3 January 2022 20:00
Prince Andrew could face ‘internal exile’ if he loses Giuffre case
Prince Andrew could be stripped of his title as Duke of York and face an “internal exile” from the royal family should he lose the civil case brought against him by Virginia Giuffre, insiders say.
Sources who spoke to the Sunday Times said discussions are underway in Buckingham Palace about what do in the event Prince Andrew loses.
They said he could be asked to step back from public life and to stop using the title Duke of York.
The Independent’s Kate Ng has more:
Megan Sheets3 January 2022 19:15
‘No comment’ from Prince Andrew’s lawyers after settlement unsealed
Approached by The Independent shortly after the 2009 settlement was unsealed, Prince Andrew’s spokesperson said they had “no comment”.
The 12-page settlement states that Ms Giuffre: “Hereby 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 and Federal, cause and causes of action (common law or statutory), suits, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, bonds, bills… and demands whatsoever in law or in equity for compensatory or punitive damages that said First Parties ever had or now have.”
It is understood that Andrew will claim he falls within the category of “other potential defendants” because Ms Giuffre had identified him as one of her alleged abusers at the time she entered into the 2009 settlement agreement.
She also specifically referred to “royalty” in her 2009 lawsuit against Epstein.
Read more from The Independent’s Bevan Hurley:
Megan Sheets3 January 2022 18:30
Deal signals protection for ‘any other person’
The unsealed settlement includes a clause which could support Prince Andrew’s claim that he does not bear liability in Ms Giuffre’s claims.
It provides a release for “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant” against allegations made by Ms Giuffre.
US District Judge Lewis Kaplan is slated to rule on the issue of liability at a hearing on Tuesday.
Megan Sheets3 January 2022 17:46
Epstein’s settlement with Giuffre unsealed
Jeffrey Epstein’s 2009 settlement with Virginia Giuffre has now been unsealed as part of Prince Andrew’s bid to have her case against him dismissed.
The agreement states that Ms Giuffre was to be paid $500,000 by Epstein. It does not mention the Duke of York by name, but his lawyers say it “releases” him from any liability from Ms Giuffre’s allegations.
The Independent’s Bevan Hurley has more:
Megan Sheets3 January 2022 17:32
ICYMI: Dershowitz says Maxwell trial tars case against him and Prince Andrew
Immediately after Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking charges, Jeffrey Epstein’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz appeared on BBC to claim that the conviction helped discredit Virginia Giuffre’s claims against him and Prince Andrew.
Mr Dershowitz took it as a validation that the federal government didn’t call Ms Giuffre — who has accused Epstein, Mr Dershowitz, and the Duke of York of sexual abuse—as a witness to testify during the Maxwell trial.
“The government was very careful who it used as witnesses,” the attorney said. “It did not use as a witness the woman who accused Prince Andrew, who accused me, who accused many other people, because the government didn’t believe she was telling the truth.”
The Independent’s Josh Marcus reports:
Megan Sheets3 January 2022 17:00
Why is the Epstein settlement being unsealed now?
The decision to unseal the 2009 settlement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre was made by judges overseeing two cases filed by Ms Giuffre.
The first case accuses Prince Andrew of sexual assault, and the second case accuses Epstein’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz of defamation.
The judges explained why the settlement should be made public in a ruling on 14 December 2021.
“Mr Epstein, as is well known, is deceased,” the judges wrote. “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.”
Megan Sheets3 January 2022 16:00
Epstein settlement ‘releases Prince Andrew from liability’ in Giuffre case, lawyer says
Prince Andrew’s lawyers have previously claimed that the settlement agreement between Virginia Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein “releases” the duke from liability in Ms Giuffre’s case against him.
That agreement, formalised in 2009, is set to be made public for the first time on Monday.
The duke’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler, has said the deal “releases Prince Andrew and others from any purported liability arising from the claims Giuffre asserted against the second son of the Queen”.
A US district judge is set to rule on the matter on Tuesday when he hears a request to dismiss Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit, which accuses Prince Andrew of sexually assaulting her as a teenager.
Megan Sheets3 January 2022 15:05
Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother says she won’t cut a deal with prosecutors
Ghislaine Maxwell’s brother has said she has no plans to make a deal with prosecutors to provide evidence about other people involved in sexual abuse by her and Jeffrey Epstein.
Maxwell was found guilty of five sex trafficking charges in a New York federal court last week. Faced with the possibility of up to 65 years in prison, there was speculation that Maxwell could strike a deal with prosecutors leading an investigation into Epstein.
However, her brother Ian Maxwell says that won’t happen.
He told the Sunday Times that the “prosecution confirmed no plea bargain offers were made or received” prior the trial, adding: “I expect that position to be maintained.”
That could mean good news for Prince Andrew, who is accused of having nonconsensual sex with a woman who claims she was sex trafficked by Epstein.
Megan Sheets3 January 2022 14:15
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in