Prince Andrew's Bid to Have Virginia Giuffre's Sex Abuse Lawsuit Dismissed Is Rejected by United States
By Haley Ott, CBS News
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A United States district judge rejected a motion by Britain's Prince Andrew on Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre that alleges he sexually abused her when she was 17. Andrew's lawyers argued that the suit should be thrown out because of a 2009 deal that Guiffre signed with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Judge Lewis Kaplan said the 2009 deal "cannot be seen" to benefit Andrew.
"Independent of whether the release language applies to Prince Andrew, the agreement, at a minimum, is 'reasonably susceptible to more than one interpretation' on the equally important question of whether this defendant may invoke it," Judge Kaplan said.
Giuffre's 2009 deal with Epstein
In 2009, Giuffre accepted $500,000 from Jeffrey Epstein to settle a lawsuit she had filed against him in Florida. Part of that agreement extends protection to "any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant ('Other Potential Defendants') from all, and all manner of [claims] that said First Parties ever had... or may have, against Jeffrey Epstein, or Other Potential Defendants."
In an effort to get Giuffre's suit dismissed, Andrew's lawyers argued that he was among the "Other Potential Defendants" protected under that 2009 deal, and that he should therefore be released from any claims Giuffre might make against him.
Giuffre and her lawyers argued that Andrew was not among the "Other Potential Defendants" that the deal referred to. He was not named in the Florida lawsuit, though Giuffre did allege in that suit that she was flown around the world by Epstein to have sexual encounters with men, "including royalty, politicians, academicians, businessmen and/or professional and personal acquaintances."
Giuffre filed the civil suit against Andrew in New York in August, saying she was coerced into sexual encounters with him 2001 by Epstein, who killed himself in a Manhattan jail in 2019, and his companion Ghislaine Maxwell, who was herself recently convicted of sex trafficking.
This story was originally published by CBS News on Jan. 12, 2021 at 9:49 a.m. ET.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.