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Prince Andrew settles sex assault lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre: court filing

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Prince Andrew and his longtime accuser Virginia Giuffre have settled a sexual assault lawsuit for an undisclosed sum, according to a US court filing Tuesday, sparing the disgraced British royal the public humiliation of a trial.

In a letter sent to a New York judge on behalf of both parties, Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies wrote that they “have reached an out of court settlement,” without revealing the financial terms.

As part of the agreement, the British royal will make a “substantial donation” to a charity established by Giuffre that supports sex trafficking victims, Boies said.

Giuffre has said she had sex with Andrew when she was 17 and a minor under US law after meeting him through the late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in prison while awaiting trial for sex crimes.

The prince has not been criminally charged and has denied the allegations.

The settlement means the civil case will not go to a jury trial. It also means Andrew, 61, will no longer be questioned under oath by Giuffre’s lawyers, who had been due to travel to London next month.

Boies said the respective parties would file a stipulation dismissing the case within 30 days.

“The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms. Giuffre’s receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed),” he said in the document filed in a Manhattan court.

The letter makes no mention of Giuffre’s accusations. Neither does it admit any guilt on behalf of Andrew or reference the repeated denials he has made.

“Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks,” the letter said.

“It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years. Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.

“He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims,” it added.

Last month Andrew was stripped of his honorary military titles and charitable roles after New York Judge Lewis Kaplan denied his plea to dismiss Giuffre’s case.

The controversy has embarrassed the British monarchy and overshadowed Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee year in which she marks 70 years on the throne.

– Private island –

Giuffre, who is now 38, alleged that Andrew sexually assaulted her at the London home of socialite and Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell after a night out dancing in March 2001.

She sued the prince last year for unspecified damages, alleging that she was trafficked to him by Epstein and Maxwell.

In December, Maxwell was convicted of recruiting and grooming young girls to be sexually abused by Epstein, exposing a murky world of sex trafficking among the rich and powerful.

As well as the London allegations, Giuffre also said Andrew assaulted her at Epstein’s home in New York, and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.

Epstein, 66, was a high-profile financier who befriended countless celebrities.

His death in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 was ruled a suicide by New York’s chief medical examiner but sparked conspiracy theories that he had been killed to protect wealthy associates.

Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, withdrew from public life as a royal in 2019 after a widely ridiculed BBC interview where he defended his relationship with Epstein and sought to vindicate himself of Giuffre’s accusation.

Giuffre filed her lawsuit in August under New York’s Child Victims’ Act which allowed victims to sue alleged abusers irrespective of the age of the claims.

The conciliatory language in Tuesday’s statement was in stark contrast to October when Andrew’s lawyers accused Giuffre of seeking to profit from a “baseless lawsuit.”

A spokesperson for Andrew said he would not be commenting beyond the court documents.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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