Prince Andrew is given the opportunity to review a 2009 settlement agreement, which he hopes will protect him from a civil lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing a woman two decades ago when she was under age.
- The deal was between the late Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Guiffre
- Mrs Guiffre accused Prince Andrew of forcing her to have sex with him when she was under age
- The prince claims that the agreement absolves him of “any responsibility”
In a ruling Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska, who was sitting in Manhattan, allowed Prince Andrew’s lawyers to receive a copy of the confidential agreement between the late financier Jeffrey Epstein and the prince’s prosecutor Virginia Giuffre.
Mrs Giuffre has also accused Epstein of assault.
Epstein’s estate had agreed to have the Duke of York, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, review the agreement, but court approval was required.
The prince, 61, has not been charged with crimes and has “categorically” denied Mrs Giuffre’s claim against him.
Andrew Brettler, the prince’s lawyer, said in an email that he expects to receive the agreement soon from Mrs Giuffre’s lawyers.
During a hearing last month, Brettler told the judge overseeing Ms Giuffre’s trial that he believed the agreement “exempts our client from any liability”.
Mrs Giuffre’s lawyers did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
David Boies, one of her lawyers, said in a lawsuit last month that he thought the settlement was “irrelevant” to Mrs Giuffre’s case against Prince Andrew.
Mrs Giuffre, 38, has accused the prince of forcing her to have sex with him when she was under age, in London home of Epstein’s longtime employee Ghislaine Maxwell.
She also said Prince Andrew abused her in Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.
Prince Andrew faces an October 29 deadline to formally respond to Mrs Giuffre’s lawsuit seeking unspecified damages.
Epstein, a registered sex offender, killed himself at the age of 66 in a prison in Manhattan in August 2019 while awaiting trial on charges of sex trafficking.
Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to having helped recruit and care for underage girls to abuse Epstein.
Her trial in Manhattan is scheduled for Nov. 29.