UK’s Prince Andrew settles with accuser in sexual assault lawsuit

British royal to make ‘substantial donation’ to Virginia Giuffre’s charity for sex trafficking victims, expresses ‘regret for his association with [Jeffrey] Epstein’

Britain's Prince Andrew at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor, England, on April 11, 2021. (Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP, File)
Britain's Prince Andrew at the Royal Chapel of All Saints at Royal Lodge, Windsor, England, on April 11, 2021. (Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP, File)

NEW YORK (AFP) — The United Kingdom’s Prince Andrew and his accuser Virginia Giuffre have settled a sexual assault lawsuit for an unspecified sum, according to a court filing Tuesday.

In a letter sent to a New York judge on behalf of both parties, Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies wrote that they “have reached an out of court settlement,” without disclosing the financial terms.

As part of the agreement, the British royal will make a “substantial donation” to a charity established by Giuffre that supports sex trafficking victims, Boies said.

Giuffre has said she had sex with Andrew when she was 17 and a minor under US law after meeting him through the late US financier Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in prison two years ago while awaiting trial for sex crimes.

The prince has not been criminally charged and has denied the allegations.

The settlement means the civil case will not go to a jury trial. It also means Andrew will no longer be questioned under oath by Giuffre’s lawyers.

Virginia Giuffre speaks during a news conference outside a Manhattan court in New York, on August 27, 2019. (Bebeto Matthews)

“The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms. Giuffre’s receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed),” said the court filing.

“Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks,” the letter said.

“He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims,” it added.

Last month, Andrew was stripped of his honorary military titles and charitable roles after New York Judge Lewis Kaplan denied his plea to dismiss Giuffre’s case.

Private island

Giuffre, who is now 38, alleges that Andrew sexually assaulted her at the London home of socialite and Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell after a night out dancing in March 2001.

She sued the prince last year for unspecified damages, alleging that she was trafficked to him by Epstein and Maxwell.

In December, Maxwell was convicted of recruiting and grooming young girls to be sexually abused by Epstein, exposing a murky world of sex trafficking among the rich and powerful.

Audrey Strauss, acting US attorney for the Southern District of New York, points to a photo of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell during a news conference in New York, on July 2, 2020. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

As well as the London allegations, Giuffre also said Andrew assaulted her at Epstein’s home in New York, and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.

Andrew, the second son of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, withdrew from public life as a royal in 2019 after a widely ridiculed BBC interview where he sought to vindicate himself of the accusation.

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