U.S. legal counsel for Prince Andrew will seek to use an historical court settlement Tuesday to scupper plans to try him for sexual abuse.
Prince Andrew’s lawyers are planning to use a previous out of court settlement between Virginia Giuffre and dead billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein to prevent him from being summoned to court, the BBC reports.
U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan is expected to determine whether the 2009 settlement agreement between Epstein and Giuffre also shields Prince Andrew.
The document states Ms Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, had agreed in 2009 to “release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge” Jeffrey Epstein and “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant”.
Virginia Giuffre’s lawyers however have dismissed the settlement saying it is “irrelevant” to her civil action against the Queen’s son.
Giuffre has accused Prince Andrew of raping her at Epstein’s London home when she was 17 in 2001.
The Prince has denied both that he forced Giuffre to have sex with him and that he had sex with her at all, accusing her instead of seeking another “payday”, as alongside her $500,000 settlement she also sought $50 million from Epstein in a 2015 lawsuit.
Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of luring teenage girls to be sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein. https://t.co/oiuyWQNUmV
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) December 29, 2021
The age of consent in Britain is 16 so Prince Andrew would not face statutory rape charges that he would face if the deed had taken place in the US. However because Giuffre is claiming she was trafficked from America to the UK by Epstein while she was a minor, she is still able to seek financial compensation from the Prince.
There is not currently a set number on the damages Giuffre is seeking, but it is believed to be in the millions of dollars.
Prince Andrew has not currently been charged with any criminal offences, and the case is in the civil not criminal courts.
The case comes after Epstein’s right-hand confidante and accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was convicted and found guilty of conspiring to run a sex crimes ring with the disgraced billionaire.
Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison.
Epstein allegedly killed himself while in a jail cell in 2019, before he could face justice in the courtroom.
Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew initially became friends in 1999 via Maxwell, it was also the first time the Prince flew on Epstein’s private jet, allegedly to Epstein’s private island, Little St James in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Ghislaine Maxwell believes Jeffrey Epstein was murdered in prison and fears she will also be killed, a family friend says. https://t.co/ohAcVtEQ1L
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) July 20, 2020
The Prince had a reputation for partying, with the British tabloids referring to him as “Randy Andy”, which would have made him more accessible than other British royals.
Prince Andrew claims to have ended his friendship with Epstein in 2010 after Epstein went to jail for 13 months for soliciting a minor for prostitution.