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Prince Andrew accuser’s 2009 deal with Epstein shielded others: court filing

The settlement was made public on Monday
as part of Virginia Giuffre’s 2021 civil lawsuit against Andrew, whom she
accuses of forcing her to have sex two decades ago when she was 17. Andrew has
denied the accusation and said Giuffre’s 2009 deal with Epstein shields him
from any liability.

The deal also provided for Giuffre, also
known as Virginia Roberts, to be paid $500,000.

It will now be up to US District Judge
Lewis Kaplan in New York to determine whether the clause in the 2009 pact
blocks Giuffre’s lawsuit against Andrew. The litigation is in its early stages,
and Kaplan has said it could go to trial between September and December of 2022
if no settlement is reached.

A hearing over Andrew’s motion to
dismiss the civil lawsuit is scheduled for Tuesday.

Giuffre in May 2009 sued Epstein,
alleging he sexually assaulted her in 1998 when she was 15. She also said that
she was “required to be sexually exploited by (Epstein’s) adult male
peers, including royalty, politicians, academicians” and others. The
lawsuit was dismissed in December 2009.

Andrew argued in a 2021 court filing
that the settlement agreement shielded him from liability because he fell into
the category of “royalty” from liability. Andrew said the settlement
was intended to protect “any and all persons who Giuffre identified as
potential targets of future lawsuits.”

The agreement released on Monday in
federal court in Manhattan said “any other person or entity who could have
been included as a potential defendant from all, and all manner of, action and
actions of Virginia Roberts” was released from liability.

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Andrew’s lawyers on Monday declined
comment on the filing.

David Boies, an attorney for Giuffre,
called the liability release “irrelevant” to Giuffre’s claim against
Andrew.

“The release does not mention
Prince Andrew. He did not even know about it,” Boies said in a statement.
“The reason we sought to have the release made public was to refute the
claims being made about it by Prince Andrew’s PR campaign.”

Giuffre said in her lawsuit against
Andrew that he forced her to have sex at the London home of former Epstein
associate Ghislaine Maxwell and at two of Epstein’s homes.

Andrew, 61, has moved to dismiss the
lawsuit, arguing Giuffre is seeking a “payday” from her accusations
against Epstein and his associates. The prince has not been accused of criminal
wrongdoing.

Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan
jail cell in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.

Andrew gave up many royal duties in
November 2019, saying that his association with Epstein had become a
“disruption to my family’s work.”

Giuffre’s lawsuit is separate from the
criminal trial against Maxwell that concluded last week. Maxwell, 60, was
convicted of recruiting and grooming girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994
and 2004.

Giuffre’s claims did not form the basis
of any of the charges Maxwell faced and she did not testify for either side
during the three-week criminal trial.

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