Details about a settlement agreement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Roberts Giuffre – the sexual abuse victim who accused the late financier of trafficking her to Prince Andrew and other powerful men – were revealed to the public on Monday.
The 2009 legal document was unsealed by a court in New York City and reveals that Giuffre was paid $500,000 to drop the case against the notorious late pedophile, who was a known friend of the Duke of York.
Prince Andrew’s lawyers hope that the settlement will halt a lawsuit against their client for his alleged sex crimes against Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, who alleges that she was forced to have sex with the duke in London and at two properties belonging to Epstein when she 17, a minor under U.S. law. Giuffre claims that Andrew knew at the time that she was underage.
Andrew, however, vociferously denies the claim and has tried to dismiss the case, which is being heard on Tuesday morning.
In the newly unsealed 12-page deal, Giuffre agreed to “release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge” Epstein and, crucially, “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant.”
Andrew’s attorneys argue that her lawsuit against him in October is a violation of the settlement with Epstein.
If the case manages to move forward, the Duke of York would be placed in the humiliating position of sitting for a deposition under oath while turning over decades of personal communications.
According to U.S. district judge Lewis Kaplan, a trial could be set to begin as soon as between September and December of this year, reports The Independent.
Giuffre’s attorneys have disputed the relevancy of the settlement in regards to her lawsuit against the prince.
“The release does not mention Prince Andrew. He did not even know about it,” said attorney David Boies, according to CNN. “He could not have been a ‘potential defendant’ in the settled case against Jeffrey Epstein both because he was not subject to jurisdiction in Florida and because the Florida case involved federal claims to which he was not a part. The actual parties to the release have made clear that Prince Andrew was not covered by it.
“Lastly, the reason we sought to have the release made public was to refute the claims being made about it by Prince Andrew’s PR campaign,” Boies added.
Ghislaine Maxwell, a friend of Prince Andrew and “partner-in-crime” of Epstein in exploiting and abusing young girls, was found guilty of five charges of sex trafficking between 1994 and 2004 in a separate federal criminal trial last week.
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