On Friday, a U.S. federal judge rejected Prince Andrew’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed against him by a woman claiming he sexually assaulted her when she was 17.
Andrew’s legal team unsuccessfully argued that Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s lawsuit against him should be thrown out since Giuffre, 38, no longer resides in the U.S despite filing the lawsuit in New York. Giuffre alleged Andrew, now 61, and late billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually assaulted her multiple times in 2001, according to NBC News.
On Monday, a 2009 settlement between Giuffre and late billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein was released to the public as part of Giuffre’s lawsuit against Prince Andrew. The documents revealed that Giuffre was paid $500,000 in the settlement, according to The Guardian.
Though Andrew attempted to stop the release of Giuffre’s 2009 settlement to the public, he filed the documents in federal court to try to get the lawsuit against him dismissed — claiming the settlement legally shielded him, according to The Guardian.
As part of the settlement, Giuffre agreed to “release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge” Epstein and “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant,” according to the BBC.
It’s worth noting that Prince Andrew is not mentioned by name in the 2009 settlement, but he is presumably arguing that he is referenced as a “potential defendant.”
On Tuesday, New York federal judge Lewis Kaplan is expected to decide whether the settlement will result in a dismissal of Giuffre’s lawsuit against Prince Andrew.
Last week, a New York federal court convicted Epstein’s girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, of five counts of sex trafficking. Maxwell, who was arrested in July 2020, is accused of grooming at least four underage girls, as young as 14, for Jeffrey Epstein, 66, to sexually abuse between 1994 and 1997.
During her trial, three accusers testified using pseudonyms — including one who said she was 14 when Maxwell groomed her to sexually pleasure Epstein, and trafficked her to other men.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alison Moe alleged Maxwell and Epstein shared a “little black book” which contained phone numbers of young girls available for massages. Maxwell’s accusers claimed she forced them to massage or have sex with Epstein, and that Maxwell would also grope them.
Conversely, the defense argued the accusers misremembered their interactions with Maxwell, or were influenced by money.
Epstein was jailed without bond in July 2019 following allegations that he sex-trafficked dozens of underage girls from 2002 to 2005. The billionaire financier was found hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan on August 10, 2019 — sparking skepticism about the circumstances surrounding his death.
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[Featured image: Prince Andrew/Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP, file; Virginia Roberts Giuffre/AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, file]