A US judge has agreed for Prince Andrew’s lawyers to receive a copy of a 2009 settlement they believe will nullify his accuser Virginia Giuffre’s civil assault case against the royal.
Andrew B Brettler, who represents the Duke of York, had argued at a previous hearing that Ms Giuffre – who is suing the Queen’s son for alleged sexual assault when she was a teenager – had entered into a “settlement agreement” that would end her current lawsuit.
She claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, the duke’s former friend, to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.
Andrew has denied all the allegations.
Ms Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies was granted permission by Judge Loretta Preska to supply Andrew’s legal team with the previously sealed document, but the attorney believes it is “irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew”.
During the first pre-trial hearing of the case last month, Andrew’s lawyer said: “There has been a settlement agreement that the plaintiff has entered into in a prior action that releases the duke and others from any and all potential liability.”
Mr Brettler was referring to the 2009 settlement between Ms Giuffre and convicted sex offender Epstein of a Florida state case to which the duke was not a party.
More on Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew officially served with legal papers notifying him of sexual abuse lawsuit, Sky News understands
Prince Andrew: Legal papers sent to LA lawyer notifying him of civil sexual assault case
Prince Andrew: Photo of legal papers being posted to the duke released by lawyers for Virginia Giuffre
- Prince Andrew
Mr Brettler told Sky News: “Earlier today, Judge Preska ordered that the agreement can be disclosed to me, as Prince Andrew’s attorney.
“I haven’t received the agreement yet, but anticipate that Mr Boies will provide it to me shortly.”
What are the ‘factual allegations’ stated in Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit?
In a court document filed on Wednesday, Judge Preska agreed to the request from Mr Boies to provide Andrew’s legal team with the document.
In a previous court paper, Mr Boies said to Judge Preska about the document: “Although we believe that the release is irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew, now that service has been accepted and the case is proceeding to a determination on the merits, we believe that counsel for Prince Andrew have a right to review the release and to make whatever arguments they believe appropriate based on it.”
During his interview with BBC Newsnight in 2019, Prince Andrew denied all allegations made by Ms Giuffre.
He said: “I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
When asked about a night Ms Giuffre claimed she danced with him in a London nightclub and was later allegedly forced to have sex with the royal, he said: “On that particular day that we now understand is the date which is the 10th of March, I was at home.
“I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose sort of four or five in the afternoon.”