Americas

Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre’s confidential $500k settlement with Jeffrey Epstein made public

The woman who has accused Prince Andrew of sexual assault agreed not to sue anyone connected to Jeffrey Epstein who could be described as a “potential defendant”, a newly-released document shows.

The 2009 settlement between Victoria Giuffre and disgraced financier Epstein reveals he agreed to pay her $500,000 (£370,000) to end her legal claims against him.

Details of the confidential agreement were made public on Monday following an order by US judges.

Who’s Who in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal?

Ms Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, is suing Andrew in a civil lawsuit in New York in which she claims he “committed sexual assault and battery” upon her when she was 17.

Her settlement with Epstein reveals she agreed to dismiss her lawsuit against the financier “upon payment and clearance of the settlement amount”.

The document states that this would also “forever discharge… 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 of federal…”

The document adds that the agreement “represents a final resolution of a disputed claim and is intended to avoid litigation”.

“The settlement agreement shall not be construed to be an admission of liability or fault by any party,” it says.

On Tuesday, a New York judge will hear arguments on whether to dismiss Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit against Andrew, which is seeking unspecified damages.

What are the ‘factual allegations’ stated in Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit?

Andrew, who has not been charged with any criminal offences, has always denied the allegations against him.

Lawyers for the duke say Ms Giuffre’s settlement with Epstein “releases Prince Andrew and others from any purported liability arising from the claims” she has made against the royal.

But Ms Giuffre’s lawyers have said the agreement applies “at most” to people involved in underlying litigation in Florida, thereby excluding Andrew.

The duke’s legal team has described the civil case against him as “baseless” and had argued it should be thrown out as Ms Giuffre now lives in Australia – and not the US where it is being held.

But Ms Giuffre’s lawyers said Andrew should not have a “get out of jail free card” over matters of jurisdiction, and the judge dismissed the royal’s request.

The legal action has been brought under the Child Victims Act, a 2019 New York state law that allows people to temporarily make legal claims of abuse that occurred when they were children regardless of when or how long ago the alleged abuse occurred.

Ms Giuffre alleges that she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17, a minor under US law, and was pictured with the royal and Ghislaine Maxwell during the period the alleged intercourse took place.

The release of the 2009 settlement comes after Maxwell was found guilty of recruiting underage girls to be sexually abused by her ex-boyfriend Epstein, who killed himself in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

If judges do not throw out Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit against Andrew this week, a trial could be held between September and December 2022.

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