Prince Andrew, on Tuesday, urged a New York court to dismiss the civil suit filed by Virginia Giuffre, who accused late American financier Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse and trafficking her to Andrew and others.
But, as per a Daily Mail report, the judge “made it very clear he did not accept” the arguments put forth by the Duke of York, and said that a decision will be pronounced soon in the case.
Prince Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth, denies Giuffre’s claims that she was trafficked by Epstein and his associate Ghislaine Maxwell and forced to have sex with Andrew when she was 17. He says that he does not recollect meeting her.
However, Andrew’s lawyer sought the dismissal focusing on a court document released on Monday that revealed a settlement agreement from 2009 between Epstein and Giuffre. As per the unsealed document, Epstein had paid her $500,000 to drop the case without any admission of liability or fault.
Giuffre had “waived her rights” to sue Andrew by signing the settlement, the Duke of York’s lawyer argued.
The judge hearing the case did not accept these arguments. Noting that the part from the 2009 settlement that protects other potential defendants, on which Andrew was grounding his arguments, was “unclear,” the judge also pointed out two sentences from the same that suggested that it could not be used by Andrew. He further noted that the language in the settlement agreement implied that it is ‘not intended to be used by any other person’ to protect themselves from lawsuits without Giuffre and Epstein’s consent.
In July 2019, Epstein was charged with sex trafficking and exploiting several girls and women. As per her lawsuit, Giuffre was one of Epstein’s victims from when she was 16. Epstein had kept her as a “sex slave” and forced her to have sex with Andrew at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of late media baron Robert Maxwell, she said in her complaint. Ghislaine Maxwell, who is also named in Giuffre’s suit, was recently convicted by a New York court for trafficking and sexually abusing underage girls.
Andrew is a known friend of Epstein, who died by suicide in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial.
Giuffre has alleged that Andrew also abused her at Epstein’s mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and on a private island that Epstein owned in the US Virgin Islands.
Andrew, who stepped down from his royal duties in 2019, has been denying the sexual abuse allegations since the beginning.
Seeking compensatory and punitive damages, Guiffre sued Andrew under the Child Victims Act, a New York state law that allows child sexual abuse victims to “pursue claims against their abusers, even if the abuse occurred decades earlier.”