Longtime Prince Andrew accuser Virginia Giuffre’s sexual abuse lawsuit against him can move forward, as a New York judge rejected the royal’s efforts to dismiss her civil claim on Wednesday.
Giuffre, who has alleged that the late financier Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell sexually abused her, said they forced her into sex with the Duke of York at age 17. She filed suit against the royal on 9 August, citing battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
Prince Andrew’s legal team had argued in court papers and proceedings that Giuffre’s 2009 settlement with Epstein shielded him from her lawsuit. The settlement, which was unsealed on 3 January, awarded Giuffre $500,000.
Their agreement contained a provision that stated: “Second parties and any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant … from all, and all manner of, action and actions of Virginia [Giuffre], including state or federal, cause and causes of action.”
Andrew was not mentioned by name in this settlement.
Kaplan’s decision deals yet another blow to the embattled British prince, whose reputation and standing within the royal family has been saddled by his ties to Epstein and Maxwell.
High-profile criminal proceedings against Epstein and Maxwell over the past two years have further damaged his reputation.
Maxwell, the daughter of the late British press titan Robert Maxwell, was found guilty of five counts for luring girls as young as 14 into Epstein’s world for him to sexually abuse.
Epstein, a convicted sex offender who in addition to Prince Andrew, counted former presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump in his circle, killed himself in a Manhattan jail about a month after his July 2019 arrest on sex trafficking charges.
Giuffre has claimed that Prince was “sweating profusely all over me” at a London nightclub on a night when they allegedly had a sexual encounter.
Prince Andrew said in a disastrous BBC interview that Giuffre’s statement about his perspiration could not be true, claiming: “I have a peculiar medical condition which is that I don’t sweat or I didn’t sweat at the time.”
Prince Andrew also maintained that on the evening cited by Giuffre, he went with his daughter, Beatrice, to a late-afternoon children’s party at a Pizza Express in Woking. After the party, Prince Andrew claims, he was at home with his children all night.
As part of Giuffre’s suit, her legal team has requested documents that would prove whether or not Prince Andrew can sweat.
Information and support for anyone affected by rape or sexual abuse issues is available from the following organisations. In the US, Rainn offers support on 800-656-4673. In the UK, Rape Crisis offers support on 0808 802 9999. In Australia, support is available at 1800Respect (1800 737 732). Other international helplines can be found at ibiblio.org/rcip/internl.html