Thu. Jan 20th, 2022

The decision paves the way for Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against the Duke of York to stay on track for a trial that could begin late this year.

A US judge has rejected a bid by Britain’s Prince Andrew to reject Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit the Duke of York accused him of sexually abusing her when she was 17 and traded by the late financier. Jeffrey Epstein.

In a decision made public on Wednesday, Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York said in his ruling that the British royal’s motion to dismiss the charge was “rejected in all respects”.

Kaplan in Manhattan said it was premature to consider the prince’s attempts to question Giuffre’s allegations, that he had abused her and caused her deliberate emotional distress, although he would be allowed to do so during a trial.

Attorneys for Andrew and Giuffre as well as Buckingham Palace did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Andrew denied Giuffre’s allegations that he forced her to have sex more than two decades ago at the London home of former Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and abused her at two other Epstein properties.

The decision paves the way for Giuffre’s case against Andrew to stay on track for a trial that, according to Kaplan, could begin late this year.

Although the prince is not accused of criminal mischief, his ties to Epstein damaged his reputation and cost him many royal duties.

Prince Andrew’s lawyers said the lawsuit had no specificity and was disqualified by a agreement she reached in 2009 with attorneys for Jeffrey Epstein.

That settlement of a lawsuit was reached a decade before Epstein shot himself to death at a Manhattan lock while awaiting a sex trafficking trial.

But Kaplan said the “obscure” language in Giuffre and Epstein’s 2009 settlement suggests they may have come up with “something of a middle ground” over whether Andrew or others in similar positions would be protected from future lawsuits.

Such settlements may restrict plaintiffs from conducting further litigation, even against third parties.

“We do not know what, if anything, went through the minds of the parties,” Kaplan wrote. “The parties have articulated at least two reasonable interpretations of the critical language. The agreement is therefore ambiguous. “

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