NEW YORK (AP) – A previously sealed $ 500,000 legal settlement in 2009 between Jeffrey Epstein and an American who Prince Andrew said protects him from an ongoing lawsuit was made public on Monday.
The deal between Epstein and Virginia Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre, contained a paragraph that said it protected anyone “who might have been included as a potential defendant” from being sued by Giuffre.
Lawyer Andrew Brettler, representing the prince, told a Manhattan federal court judge that the agreement “relieves Prince Andrew and others of any alleged liability arising from the claims Ms Giuffre has made against Prince Andrew here “.
In August, Giuffre sued the prince, claiming he repeatedly sexually assaulted her in 2001 when she was 17.
Lawyers for the prince have challenged the lawsuit on several grounds, saying âAndrew never abused or sexually assaulted Giuffre. He unequivocally denies Giuffre’s false allegations against him.
They also wrote that Giuffre sued Andrew “to get another salary at his expense and at the expense of those close to him.” Epstein’s abuse of Giuffre does not justify his public campaign against Prince Andrew.
Oral argument on the request to dismiss the lawsuit without a trial is scheduled for Tuesday.
Recently, lawyers said Giuffre should not be allowed to sue as she has lived most of the past two decades in Australia and cannot accurately claim to be a resident of Colorado, where her mother lives.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan has rejected an attempt by lawyers to halt the progress of the trial and subject Giuffre to a deposition on the question of where she resides.
In late 2019, Prince Andrew told BBC Newsnight he had never had sex with Giuffre, saying: “That did not happen.”
He said he had “no recollection” of ever meeting her.
The interview was widely criticized by critics who said Andrew seemed insensitive to Epstein’s victims. Subsequently, the prince was forced to step down from royal duties.
A message was left with a spokesperson for Giuffre’s lawyers and Brettler.
Epstein, 66, committed suicide in August 2019 while awaiting a sex trafficking trial in Manhattan federal prison.
His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, 60, was convicted last week in Manhattan on charges of sex trafficking and conspiracy after a month-long trial.
Judge Alison J. Nathan, who presided over the trial, asked lawyers for both sides to suggest when a sentencing date should be set and when a trial should be scheduled for perjury charges that have been separated from other charges. against Maxwell.
The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they choose to come forward publicly, as Giuffre did.
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