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Britain's Prince Andrew. File photo: REUTERS/CHRIS RADBURN
Britain's Prince Andrew. File photo: REUTERS/CHRIS RADBURN

New York — Britain’s Prince Andrew will on Tuesday urge a New York judge to dismiss Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit accusing the Duke of York of sexually abusing her when she was underage and also being trafficked by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein.

US district judge Lewis Kaplan is expected to assess a November 2009 settlement agreement between Epstein and Giuffre, which the 61-year-old prince’s lawyers have said shields Andrew from claims by the 38-year-old Giuffre.

Andrew has denied Giuffre’s accusations that he forced her to have sex when she was 17 at the London home of former Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and abused her at two other Epstein properties. The prince has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing.

The 2009 agreement included a general release that would “forever discharge” various people who “could have been included as a potential defendant” in a civil lawsuit that Giuffre had filed against Epstein in Florida, where the financier also had a home.

It did not name any individual by name. Epstein was to pay Giuffre $500,000 without admitting liability under the settlement agreement, which was made public on Monday.

Kaplan is unlikely to rule immediately during Tuesday’s oral arguments, which will be held remotely.

Andrew has also accused Giuffre of seeking another “payday” in her campaign against Epstein and former associates like Maxwell, from whom she sought $50m in a since-settled 2015 defamation lawsuit.

The prince is represented by Andrew Brettler, a Los Angeles lawyer, while Giuffre is represented by David Boies of Boies Schiller & Flexner.

Boies on Monday said Andrew was not a “potential defendant” covered by Giuffre’s settlement because the prince could not have been sued in Florida and the case there did not concern him.

Andrew’s ties to Epstein have cost him many royal duties and damaged his reputation, including after critics said he failed in a 2019 BBC interview to appear sympathetic to Epstein’s abuse victims.

Kaplan has said Giuffre’s case against Andrew could go to trial between September and December if no settlement is reached.

Epstein killed himself at age 66 in a Manhattan jail cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted on December 29 of recruiting and grooming girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. Giuffre’s accusations were not part of that case, and she did not testify. 

Reuters

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