Prince Andrew’s legal team has been granted permission to see a sealed settlement between Virginia Giuffre and Andrew’s late friend, the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, documents that the prince’s lawyers believe could provide the prince with immunity against a suit filed by Giuffre accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was a minor.
Federal judge Loretta Preska signed off Wednesday for Andrew’s legal team to receive a copy of the settlement with the consent of Epstein’s estate, which the prince’s lawyer Andrew Bettler said last month may “release the duke from any and all liability.”
Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies agreed in court documents that Prince Andrew has the right to the sealed documents, but said the settlement was “irrelevant” to Giuffre’s lawsuit against the prince.
The settlement, struck in Florida between Epstein and Giuffre in 2009, ended one of dozens of civil suits filed against Epstein by women who allege he sexually abused them when they were under the age of consent, all of which were settled privately for undisclosed amounts.
Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, a friend of Epstein’s who Giuffre has also accused of sexual abuse, told Forbes in a statement last month that the settlement led to a battery case filed by Giuffre against Dershowitz being thrown out, saying “the same reasons for dismissing the case against me seem to apply to Prince Andrew.”
Giuffre, one of Epstein’s most vocal accusers, has said she was sex trafficked by the financier as a teenager and forced to have sex with his rich and powerful friends, including Andrew and Dershowitz. Both men have denied the accusations. In August, Giuffre sued the prince in civil court in New York. Andrew’s legal team at first appeared to be delaying the court process by disputing the prince was properly served the lawsuit, but conceded late last month that Andrew had been served. The prince must respond to Giuffre’s complaint by October 29.