Politics

Prince Andrew settles sex abuse lawsuit by Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre

Key Points
  • Britain's Prince Andrew has settled a New York federal lawsuit that accused him of sexually assaulting a leading accuser of his friend Jeffrey Epstein when she was underage.
  • Virginia Giuffre claims in her suit that Andrew, a son of Queen Elizabeth II, abused her in various locations after she was directed to have sex with him by Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
  • Epstein, who committed suicide after being charged with child sex trafficking, also had been a friend of former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.
  • Maxwell was convicted in Manhattan federal court of procuring underage girls for Epstein.
VIDEO2:4102:41
Prince Andrew settles civil suit with woman who accused him of sex abuse

Britain's Prince Andrew has agreed to settle out of court a lawsuit accusing him of sexually assaulting an underage girl while she was under the control of the sex criminals Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, a legal filing revealed Tuesday.

The amount of money that Andrew has agreed to pay his accuser, Virginia Giuffre, to settle her claims was not disclosed in the filing in Manhattan federal court, where she had sued the Duke of York in August.

But that document also said that Andrew, 61, will make "a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre's charity in support of victims' rights."

A statement jointly issued by lawyers for Giuffre and Andrew's attorneys says that he "regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others."

"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," that statement says.

The bombshell development came after Andrew previously failed in attempts to get Giuffre's suit tossed out, and after he had been stripped of military titles and other honorifics related to being a member of Britain's royal family because of his association with Epstein and Maxwell.

The tentative settlement was disclosed in a letter by Giuffre's lawyer, David Boies, to Judge Lewis Kaplan , who is expected to dismiss the suit after both sides file a formal stipulation to the settlement.

The Duke of York, in his role as colonel of the Grenadier Guards, at a memorial in Bruges to mark the 75th Anniversary of the liberation of the Belgian town.
Jonathan Brady | PA Images | Getty Images

Boies' letter said he was writing "jointly with counsel for" Andrew, and asked Kaplan to suspend deadlines in the case pending the filing of that stipulation. The judge later Tuesday said that Giuffre's suit will be put on hold until March 17 to allow for that filing.

Andrew had denied Giuffre's allegations that he sexually abused her two decades ago in New York, London and the U.S. Virgin Islands, when he was a friend of Epstein and Maxwell.

Tuesday's court filing gave no indication that the son of Queen Elizabeth II had wavered in that denial.

But the settlement will spare Andrew further ignominy from being forced to answer questions under oath for depositions in the case, and face a public trial in New York that would have drawn massive media attention.

The deal comes less than two months after Maxwell was convicted in the same courthouse of criminal charges related to her procuring other underage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein, an investment manager who killed himself in a federal jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on federal child sex trafficking charges.

Giuffre's suit alleged she had sex with Andrew at the direction of Epstein and Maxwell.

In the letter to Kaplan, Boies wrote, "We write jointly with counsel for defendant to advise the Court that the parties reached a settlement in principle of the above-referenced action."

"The parties anticipate filing a stipulation of dismissal of the case within thirty (30) days," Boies wrote. "In the interim, the parties request that the Court suspend all deadlines and hold the action in abeyance."

The joint statement from lawyers for both sides said, "Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew have reached an out of court settlement."

"The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms. Giuffre's receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed). Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre's charity in support of victims' rights."

"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. It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years," the statement says.

VIDEO0:5800:58
NBC archive footage shows Trump partying with Jeffrey Epstein in 1992

Andrew was one of Epstein's many rich, powerful and high-profile friends over the years.

Epstein also had long-standing friendships with former Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton before he pleaded guilty to Florida state charges in 2009, which included paying an underage girl for sexual services.

Giuffre's lawsuit had alleged that she "was regularly abused by Epstein and was lent out by Epstein to other powerful men for sexual purposes."

Giuffre's suit says she was "was also forced to have sex with Defendant, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, at [Epstein's] and Maxwell's direction."