Prince Andrew Sex Scandal: Judge OKs Keeping Key Epstein-Giuffre Settlement Secret
18:12 GMT 27.10.2021 (Updated: 18:16 GMT 27.10.2021)
The 2009 agreement between late American sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre, who is now accusing the UK's Prince Andrew of sex abuse, was deemed by the latter's legal team as a key document that could alleviate Giuffre's accusations.
US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan agreed that the settlement agreement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Robert Giuffre can remain secret, with the decision coming a day after a corresponding request from Giuffre's legal team.
Attorney Andrew Brettler, who represents Prince Andrew in the legal battle, said that both parties wanted the settlement to remain sealed, since it is subject to a protective order from another judge presiding over a federal civil action in New York.
According to the judge, the Estate of Jeffrey Epstein does not contend that the agreement must remain sealed.
27 October, 07:06 GMT
Prince Andrew's legal team appears to be relying on the 2009 document, asserting that it provides the Duke of York with immunity against Giuffre's claims. On Tuesday, Brettler said in his filing that the agreement "releases Prince Andrew and others from any purported liability arising from the claims Ms. Giuffre asserted against Prince Andrew here''.
Giuffre, who describes herself as one of Epstein's former sex slaves, accuses Prince Andrew of sexually abusing her when she was 17 - claims that the duke has vehemently denied.
The embattled royal has been fending off allegations of ties with Epstein and sex abuse of Giuffre since 2019, and had to give up his royal duties after a notorious BBC interview in which he claimed he had an alibi and did not recall ever meeting her.
A hearing on the Prince Andrew case is scheduled for next week.