Details of secret Epstein deal with Prince Andrew accuser to be made public
The settlement deal between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre, who is currently suing Prince Andrew for alleged sex abuse, is due to be made public in the coming days, following an order by US judges to unseal the agreement.
The release of the document comes amid an ongoing case between Giuffre and Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, who she accuses of forcing her to have sex with him at the homes of Ghislaine Maxwell and Epstein when she was under 18.
The senior royal has repeatedly and vigorously denied any claims made by Giuffre, including in a now infamous BBC interview after which he temporarily retired from public life. He has not been charged criminally over the allegations.
The now-deceased convicted sex offender Epstein reached a deal with Giuffre in 2009, which the duke’s lawyers claims exempts the Briton from any liability, preventing the accuser from suing the royal. On Wednesday, two Manhattan judges ordered the agreement document be released on or about January 3, 2022, saying there was no reason to keep it secret.
Andrew’s lawyers argue the deal covers “royalty” and was designed to protect “any and all persons” who might eventually be sued by Giuffre. However, Giuffre’s lawyers say that the deal only covered people involved in cases in Florida, meaning the royal who lives in the UK would be excluded.
The Duke of York’s legal team recently issued a counter challenge to Giuffre’s claims, calling on the court to throw the case out because his accuser actually lives in Australia, so the New York court might not have “jurisdiction.”
A judge in New York will hear from the legal representatives of both parties on January 4, where they will consider the request to dismiss Giuffre’s lawsuit, which is seeking unspecified damages.
The release of the settlement deal comes after Maxwell, a former confidante of Epstein, was found guilty on five of six counts linked to helping the billionaire groom and recruit teenage girls for abuse. Maxwell hasn’t been sentenced but originally, if convicted on all counts, she faced up to 80 years in prison.