Settlement between Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Guiffre and Jeffrey Epstein made public

$500,000 deal includes release for 'any other person or entity' that could have been a potential defendant

Prince Andrew faces a crucial week in his fight against a sexual assault lawsuit brought in New York by a long-time accuser of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. AFP
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A 2009 settlement agreement between financier Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre, who accused him of sexual abuse, was made public on Monday as part of Ms Giuffre's civil lawsuit against Britain's Prince Andrew.

The agreement said Ms Giuffre would be paid $500,000 as part of the deal.

It provided a release for "any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant" against various claims by Ms Giuffre.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan will now have to decide whether that clause blocks Ms Giuffre's lawsuit against Prince Andrew for allegedly forcing her to have sex two decades ago when she was 17.

Prince Andrew has denied the allegations and is seeking to dismiss the lawsuit. A hearing over his motion to dismiss is scheduled for Tuesday.

Ms Giuffre, 38, is seeking unspecified damages in a civil lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court.

Prince Andrew, 61, has denied Ms Giuffre's assertions and has moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing she is seeking a "payday" from her accusations against Epstein and his associates. The prince has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing.

He argues a confidential agreement Ms Giuffre reached with Epstein, whom she has accused of trafficking her for sex when she was a teenager, shields him from liability.

The civil case against Prince Andrew is still in its early stages. Judge Kaplan has said a trial could begin between September and December of 2022 if no settlement is reached.

The British prince gave up many royal duties in November 2019, stating that his association with Epstein had become a "disruption to my family's work".

The suit is separate from the criminal trial against Ghislaine Maxwell that concluded last week. Maxwell, 60, was convicted of recruiting and grooming girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004.

Ms Giuffre's claims did not form the basis of any of the charges Maxwell faced and she did not give evidence for either side during the three-week criminal trial.

Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.

Reuters contributed to this report

Updated: February 16, 2022, 6:16 AM
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