Prince Andrew lawyers to see confidential settlement that could end civil lawsuit

6 October 2021, 22:18

Prince Andrew's lawyers will receive a copy of a 2009 settlement.
Prince Andrew's lawyers will receive a copy of a 2009 settlement. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

A US judge has agreed to let Prince Andrew's lawyers see details of a 2009 settlement they believe could nullify Virginia Giuffre's sexual assault case.

Andrew B Brettler, who represents Prince Andrew, argued at a previous hearing that Virginia Giuffre had entered into a "settlement agreement" that would end her current lawsuit.

Ms Giuffre's lawyer, David Boies, was granted permission by Judge Loretta Preska to supply Andrew's legal team with the previously sealed document, but the attorney believes it is "irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew".

Mr Boies previously said to Judge Preska about the document: "Although we believe that the release is irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew, now that service has been accepted and the case is proceeding to a determination on the merits, we believe that counsel for Prince Andrew have a right to review the release and to make whatever arguments they believe appropriate based on it."

Read more: Prince Andrew accepts service of legal papers for sexual assault lawsuit

During the first pre-trial hearing of the case last month, Andrew's lawyer said: "There has been a settlement agreement that the plaintiff has entered into in a prior action that releases the duke and others from any and all potential liability."

Mr Brettler was referring to the 2009 settlement between Ms Giuffre and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein of a Florida state case to which the duke was not a party.

Ms Giuffre is suing Andrew for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

It comes after several attempts by her lawyers to deliver the legal papers for the case to Prince Andrew, with them finally being served on 21 September.

She is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the sum could be in the millions of dollars.

She claimed that she was trafficked by Epstein - the duke's former friend - to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17 - a minor under US law.

However, Andrew has denied all of the allegations.