Prince Andrew settlement: agreement ‘in principle’ between Duke of York and Virginia Giuffre in civil sex case

Prince Andrew will settle out of court in the civil lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre according to court documents

The Duke of York and Virginia Giuffre have reached a “settlement in principle” in the civil sex claim filed in the US, court documents show.

In a letter submitted to the United States District Court on Tuesday, Ms Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies wrote jointly with Andrew’s lawyers to say that the parties had “reached a settlement in principle”.

Ms Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, made the claim against Andrew for damages in her home country of the US, claiming she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew’s friend, to have sex with the royal when she was 17, a minor under US law.

The Duke of York, who has reached a “settlement in principle” in the civil sex claim filed by Virginia Giuffre.

Although the parties have settled the case, the agreement is not an admission of guilt from the duke and he has always strenuously denied the allegations against him.

The agreement states the duke will donate to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights and that he has pledged to “demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein” by supporting the “fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims”.

What did the court documents say?

A document submitted to a US court said: “Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew have reached an out of court settlement.

“The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms Giuffre’s receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed).

“Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights.

“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.

“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.”

What did the letter to the judge say?

A second document, a letter addressed to US judge Lewis A Kaplan, who has been overseeing the case, said: “We write jointly with counsel for defendant to advise the court that the parties reached a settlement in principle of the above-referenced action.”

It goes on to say the parties involved plan to file a “stipulation of dismissal of the case” within 30 days.

The letter, signed by Ms Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies, concludes: “We appreciate the time and effort the court has devoted to this matter.”

Has Prince Andrew commented?

In January, Andrew’s lawyers attempted to throw out the civil sex case brought by Ms Giuffre, but a judge rejected this and ruled the case could go to trial.

The Queen stripped Andrew of his honorary military roles in response, and he gave up his HRH style, before demanding a jury trial.

It is understood that the statement released by the Palace on January 13, outlining the changes, still stands, with the duke continuing not to undertake any public duties.

On Tuesday his representatives said he would not be expanding beyond the statement filed in court.

Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the development.

What have Ms Giuffre’s lawyers said?

Meanwhile, when asked for comment by the PA news agency, Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies said: “I believe this event speaks for itself.”

Sigrid McCawley, who also represents the duke’s accuser, added: “As a managing partner at a firm that has from its beginning acted upon the belief that the law should be marshalled to bring justice to the most vulnerable, I can say, without hesitation, that our representation of survivors upholds that tradition.

“I am very pleased with the resolution of Virginia Giuffre’s litigation against Prince Andrew.”

The Duke of York speaking about his links to Jeffrey Epstein in an interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis.

What has been said about the development?

Royal author Penny Junor said the settlement made by the Duke of York is likely to come as a “huge relief” to the rest of the royal family.

She told the PA news agency: “Going to trial, it could have been very, very nasty.

“It could have been embarrassing, humiliating, and it would have been huge fodder for the tabloid press.

“It could have really taken the shine off the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.”

Andrew’s association with Epstein hit the headlines once again in 2019, amid ongoing investigations into the American, who killed himself in prison in August that year while awaiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges.

The duke’s appearance on the BBC’s Newsnight programme later in November was intended to draw a line under the matter.

But it was dubbed a “car crash”, with commentators questioning his responses and condemning his unsympathetic tone and lack of remorse over his friendship with the sex offender Epstein.

During the interview, Andrew denied that he slept with Ms Giuffre, saying one encounter in 2001 did not happen as he had spent the day with his daughter, Princess Beatrice, taking her to Pizza Express in Woking for a party.

There has been a “complete change of tone” with regard to the Duke of York’s words on his association with Jeffrey Epstein, one royal commentator said.

Penny Junor told PA: “At last, he’s expressing some regret and some empathy for those girls.

She said his 2019 Newsnight interview had been “all about him” but that Andrew has “got it right now”.

She added: “He’s got it right now, it took him a long time to get there but I think he’s got it right.”

Asked if there is a way back to public royal life for Andrew, Ms Juror said: “I think it’s very, very unlikely.”

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