On Wednesday, a federal judge in New York ruled that Prince Andrew must face a lawsuit that accuses him of sexually abusing a woman when she was 17.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan said Virginia Roberts Giuffre, 38, can pursue a lawsuit in which she alleges Andrew, now 61, and late billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein sexually assaulted her multiple times in 2001. The judge said Andrew will have the opportunity to dispute Giuffre’s allegations at trial, according to Reuters.
Earlier this month, the terms of a 2009 settlement between Giuffre and Epstein were released to the public as part of Giuffre’s lawsuit against Prince Andrew. The document revealed that Giuffre was paid $500,000 in the settlement.
Prince Andrew’s legal team has argued that the 2009 settlement legally shielded him from civil lawsuits like the one Giuffre has filed against him. However, Judge Kaplan said it is too soon to tell whether the settlement “clearly and unambiguously” protected Andrew from being sued, according to Reuters.
Prince Andrew tried to stop the stipulations of Giuffre’s 2009 settlement from being released to the public.
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.”
It is worth noting that Prince Andrew was not mentioned by name in the settlement, but he is presumably arguing that he was referenced as a “potential defendant.”
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode:
[Featured image: Prince Andrew/Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP, file; Virginia Roberts Giuffre/AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, file]