Secret Legal Deal Between Epstein and Prince Andrew's Accuser Virginia Giuffre Laid Bare
18:18 GMT 03.01.2022 (Updated: 18:28 GMT 03.01.2022)
Lawyers for Prince Andrew reportedly argued that the settlement essentially prevents Giuffre from seeking legal action against Epstein’s associates such as their client.
Details of a 2009 legal settlement between disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre (nee Roberts) were revealed on Monday amid the latter’s courtroom battle against Britain's Prince Andrew, according to a report in British daily newspaper, The Guardian.
Giuffre, who filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against the royal in Manhattan federal court last year, insists that the late Epstein and his former associate Ghislaine Maxwell, who was recently convicted on several charges of sex trafficking, forced Virginia into having sex with the prince when she was 17 – accusations that Prince Andrew denies.
According to the newspaper, the settlement in question states that Giuffre (referred to under her maiden name there) agrees to “remise, release, acquit, satisfy and forever discharge the said second parties and any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant … from all, and all manner of, action and actions of Virginia Roberts, including state or federal, cause and causes of action”.
Although the prince is reportedly not mentioned in the released settlement, his attorneys said in a 29 October court filing that Giuffre “settled her sex-trafficking and sexual-abuse claims against Epstein in 2009” and thus “provided Epstein with a general release of all claims against him and numerous other individuals and entities.”
“To avoid being dragged into future legal disputes, Epstein negotiated for this broad release, insisting that it cover any and all persons whom Giuffre identified as potential targets of future lawsuits, regardless of the merit – or lack thereof – to any such claims,” they said.
The attorneys insisted that, since Prince Andrew is a senior member of the British royal family, he “falls into one of the expressly identified categories of persons, ie royalty, released from liability under the release agreement, along with politicians, academicians, businessmen, and others allegedly associated with Epstein”.
“As a third-party beneficiary of the release agreement, Prince Andrew is entitled to enforce the general release contained therein,” they declared.
The newspaper also points out that the settlement contains no mention of Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer whom Giuffre also accused of sexual misconduct facilitated by Epstein, and who also denied the accusations brought against him.
Prince Andrew’s lawyers, however, argued that Dershowitz, “as a third-party beneficiary of the 2009 settlement agreement, was entitled to rely upon and enforce the terms of that secret deal” as well.
The unsealing of the agreement in question was ordered by judges in the Prince Andrew and Dershowitz cases on 29 December, with judges saying that no one “had made an adequate showing as to why it should remain under wraps,” as the newspaper reported.