As you may know, Virginia Roberts Giuffre is currently suing the Duke of York for sexual abuse. She has long claimed the Royal had sex with her when she was a 17-year-old being trafficked by Epstein.
The evidence in the court of public opinion has been weighted heavily against Andrew. He was pretty famously fast friends with the deceased pedophile billionaire. There’s even a photo of him with young Virginia and Ghislaine Maxwell — who was just found guilty on charges of underage sex trafficking for her part in Epstein’s ring.
And when Andrew tried to defend himself in a 2019 interview, it was… not satisfactory to put it mildly. He accused the photo of being photoshopped, used a trip to a pizzeria as an alibi, and oh yeah — claimed his sweat glands had stopped working. Honestly, it may be the least credible celebrity denial we’ve ever seen. And that’s saying something.
Legally though? That’s a horse of a different color.
Related: Andrew’s Lawyers In ‘Emergency Talks’ After Ghislaine Maxwell Guilty Verdict
Andrew’s legal team is fighting hard to get him out of any actual consequences for his alleged actions. As part of their attempt to get the lawsuit, they actually tried claiming Giuffre couldn’t sue because of a previous legal settlement with Epstein. They claimed she agreed to never seek legal action against not just Epstein but also his associates — like Andrew. They wrote in October:
“Giuffre settled her sex-trafficking and sexual-abuse claims against Epstein in 2009. In doing so, she provided Epstein with a general release of all claims against him and numerous other individuals and entities. To avoid being dragged into future legal disputes, Epstein negotiated for this broad release, insisting that it cover any and all persons who Giuffre identified as potential targets of future lawsuits, regardless of the merit — or lack thereof — to any such claims.”
Whether or not Andrew is sheltered by the document has yet to be decided, but the court did rule that the secret settlement could finally be unsealed. What did it reveal?
In the 2009 legal docs, which she filed as Jane Doe No. 102, Giuffre claimed she was working at Epstein buddy Donald Trump‘s Mar-A-Lago resort where Maxwell found her and lured her into being sexually abused by Epstein when she was just 15 years old. From then, she said, he trafficked her to various powerful men he knew “including royalty.”
The unsealed docs also prove Epstein paid out $500,000 to settle the lawsuit. Half a mil! What did he get for that much money?
It’s important to remember this was a dozen years ago. Long before Epstein was a household name, before the “sweetheart deal” was common knowledge and Trump’s Labor Secretary was forced to resign over it, before he was arrested and charged again for trafficking. It may just seem like a drop in the ocean now, but these accusations were a huge bombshell back then. And Epstein was able to spend his way out of it exploding in his face. And not just his.
The settlement agreement requires Giuffre to “remise, release, acquit, satisfy and forever discharge the said second parties and any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant … from all, and all manner of, action and actions of Virginia Roberts, including state or federal, cause and causes of action.”
The suit does not, crucially, mention Andrew by name anywhere. Of course his lawyers will argue he’s a person who “could have been included as a potential defendant.” Giuffre has claimed since that the Prince slept with her at Epstein’s mansion when she was only 17, later raped her at Maxwell’s home in London, and forced her into other unwanted sex acts on Epstein’s private island, Little St. James (known informally as Pedophile Island).
So to be fair, it does now sound like Andrew is someone Virginia could have sued back then. But the lack of claims she specifically makes against the Royal in that old suit? Maybe it will be ruled the doc can’t be used as his umbrella here. It’s hard to say how it will go.
What we do know is the court of public opinion, and to us it really feels like this is Prince Andrew saying, “Hey, when she was talking about all the other men who abused her with Epstein back then? Yeah, that’s me! She was totally talking about what I did to her. So I’m good now, right?”
What do YOU think of the unsealed deal? Does it help Andrew? Or his accuser?
[Image via BBC/WENN/Florida Department of Law Enforcement.]