A civil lawsuit accusing Britain’s Prince Andrew of sexually abusing one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers will be allowed to continue, a New York judge has ruled, threatening further embarrassment and legal consequences for the Duke of York. .
Prince Andrew’s lawyers have argued that their client was covered by a confidential 2009 settlement between Epstein and Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who claims she was traded to Prince Andrew for sex on three occasions when she was under 18. He denied it.
Under the terms of that settlement, which have since been announced, Roberts received $ 500,000 in exchange for waiving all claims against Epstein, as well as “any other person or entity that could have been included as a potential defendant. “
But in an opinion released on Wednesday, Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that the language in the settlement was too vague to release Prince Andrew and rejected his motion to dismiss the case.
The verdict is another indication of the devastation Epstein is still capable of inflicting on friends and former associates two and a half years after he was found hanging in a New York jail cell in 2019 after being charged with the trafficking in underage girls for sex. abuse.
Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former confidant and also a friend of Prince Andrew, was found guilty by a New York jury last month on five criminal charges for her role in recruiting girls who abused the late sex offender.
That conviction has now been called into question after a jury member subsequently revealed that he was a victim of sexual abuse. Maxwell’s lawyers have asked the judge for a new trial. Prosecutors, in turn, offered to drop two separate charges of perjury if the conviction stands. The former British social member, 60, faces up to 65 years in prison.
Prince Andrew’s royal career has already been ruined by his friendship with Epstein. In 2019, he announced that he was resigning from his duties to a disastrous BBC interview in which he struggled to account for his relationship with the former sex offender.
Giuffre was one of the first of Epstein’s victims to make her story known. She appeared in a photo with Prince Andrew’s arm wrapped around her waist while Maxwell loomed in the background. She did not testify at Maxwell’s trial, but was repeatedly referred to during the proceedings.
Giuffre met Maxwell as a 16-year-old who worked as a spa attendant at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Florida. She alleged Epstein and Maxwell then sexually abused her and pressured her to have sex with other men.
She sued Prince Andrew last August, saying she “likes [him] responsible for what he did to me. ” In public interviews, the prince denied any recollection that he had met her.
Additional post by Stefania Palma in Washington