Wow, this is a HUGE unexpected development!
On Tuesday, Virginia Giuffre’s lawyers filed court documents stating that she has reached an out of court settlement in her sexual assault lawsuit against Prince Andrew. He’s giving up the fight!
Giuffre’s suit alleged that she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein and was forced to have sex with the Duke of York on multiple occasions, including when she was just 17 years old — and that he knew it! Andrew previously attempted to have the case dismissed, but was unsuccessful. This settlement marks a huge change in the Royal’s response to the accusations.
Giuffre’s attorney David Boies did not disclose the amount of the settlement, but wrote in a letter addressed to federal Judge Lewis Kaplan that “[the] parties anticipate filing a stipulation of dismissal of the case within 30 days,” per CNN. The two sides released a joint statement that read:
“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. Prince Andrew 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’s some spin! We’re guessing that attempted rebranding of the situation is also part of the settlement?
Andrew’s decision to settle comes as a shock because he had been so adamant about legally clearing his name of the accusation. In January, he submitted to the court 41 denials along with 11 defense points requesting that the case be dismissed. Barring dismissal, his filing stated in no uncertain terms:
“Prince Andrew hereby demands a trial by jury on all causes of action asserted in the Complaint.”
The Royal has repeatedly denied the allegations, including in a now-infamous BBC interview in which he accused Giuffre of photoshopping a pic of them together and claimed he temporarily was unable to sweat.
The photo Prince Andrew claims — without any evidence — is fake. / (c) BBC/WENN
“We would be unlikely to settle in a situation in which somebody just handed over a cheque. So if Prince Andrew maintains ‘I’ve never heard of this person,’ ‘I don’t know who she is,’ ‘The photographs are fake,’ then I don’t think we would settle on that basis. That said, if you had a settlement that was large enough to be, in effect, a vindication, then it’s something we would obviously look at.”
Though the amount remains undisclosed, we can safely assume it was a hefty enough sum for Virginia to feel vindicated, along with an apparent acknowledgment of her trauma.
Andrew’s turnaround is obviously the bigger surprise, but at the same time, this legal situation had backed him all the way into a corner. He already lost all his royal and military titles as a result, and could have faced bankruptcy in a long, drawn out court battle. He was also no doubt facing a lot of pressure from the Royal Family, who were reportedly “desperate” for him to settle out of court and put an end to the shame and embarrassment.
Still, these accusations will likely follow Andrew for the rest of his life even if they are no longer a legal threat. His association with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell went on for years and is impossible to deny, no matter how much he’d like to.
We do hope that this settlement brought Virginia some closure in what has surely been an incredibly difficult and retraumatizing experience.
[Image via WENN/Avalon & Lifetime/YouTube]