Prince Andrew settles sexual abuse lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre

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·Breaking News Editor, Yahoo News UK
·4-min read
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Watch: Duke of York and Virginia Giuffre reach out-of-court settlement in civil claim

The Duke of York has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to Virginia Giuffre after agreeing to settle a sexual abuse lawsuit in the US out of court.

In a statement, it was announced that Andrew "intends to make a substantial donation to Ms Giuffre's charity in support of victim's rights".

It also praised Giuffre's "bravery" and added Andrew never meant to "malign" her character.

Giuffre was suing Andrew over allegations he sexually abused her more than two decades ago when she was 17, a minor under US law, after convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her to England.

Prince Andrew pictured in an infamous picture with a then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background
Prince Andrew pictured in an infamous picture with a then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background

Tuesday's settlement is not an admission of guilt. Andrew has always denied the allegations.

The development means the case will no longer go to a jury trial and Andrew will not be questioned under oath - something which had been expected to happen sometime in the near future.

In the court papers, Andrew crucially said he "regrets his association with Epstein" - a stark difference to his Newsnight interview in November 2019 in which he said their relationship was "very useful."

Read more: Prince Andrew is finding sex abuse trial ‘really hard’, claims close friend

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Andrew was stripped of his military titles and dropped his used of "HRH" in the wake of the allegations (Getty)

The court statement in full

"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 has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre's character, and he accepts that she has suffered as an established victim of abuse and 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 comments the bravery Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.

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

The news marks a major change by the rhetoric given in previous court documents, in which he demanded a "trial by jury".

Watch: Legal experts comment on Prince Andrew’s case

Last month the duke submitted 11 reasons why the case should be dismissed, including that Giuffre’s claims were "barred by the doctrine of consent" and by "her own wrongful conduct".

But in the same court document, Andrew’s lawyers concluded: “Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the complaint.”

Representatives for the Duke of York said he would not be expanding beyond the statement filed in court.

When asked for comment, Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies said: “I believe this event speaks for itself.”

Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents eight victims of Jeffrey Epstein, welcomed the settlement as a “victory” for Virginia Giuffre.

She wrote on Twitter: “My statement on behalf of the 8 Jeffrey Epstein victims I represent:

“We hail Virginia’s victory today. She has accomplished what no one else could: getting Prince Andrew to stop his nonsense and side with sexual abuse victims. We salute Virginia’s stunning courage.”

In January Giuffre's lawyer said she wanted to be “vindicated” by the legal process and was not motivated by reaching a “purely financial settlement”

The financial terms of the agreement, which were announced in a federal court filing in Manhattan, will not be made public.

FILE - Virginia Roberts Giuffre holds a news conference outside a Manhattan court following the jailhouse death of Jeffrey Epstein, Aug. 27, 2019, in New York. A tentative settlement has been reached in a lawsuit accusing Prince Andrew of sexually abusing a 17-year-old American, according to a court filing Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
Virginia Roberts Giuffre pictured in 2019 (PA)

Giuffre was suing the duke in the US for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

Andrew has strenuously denied all allegations.

He was stripped of all his military titles and royal patronages in January after a US judge ruled his trial for sex offences could go ahead.

The case was set to go to trial after a judge threw out the duke's motion to dismiss it in January.

Giufrre was suing the duke for damages in New York, claiming she was trafficked by infamous financier Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with the royal when she was 17, a minor under US law, at the London home of disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell in the early 2000s.

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