Prince Andrew will be on trial on charges he sexually assaulted Virginia Giuffre when she was young after a US judge decided to pursue his civil trial.
Judge Lewis A. Kaplan’s ruling is a major setback for the Duke of York, whose lawyer earlier this month argued that the case should be dismissed because Ms. Giuffre reached a confidential settlement with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. By signing the Duke had waived his right to pursue him.
In the conclusion of his written decision, Judge Kaplan said: “For the foregoing reasons, the defendant’s complaint is denied in all respects to be dismissed or a more definitive statement.
“In view of the limited function of the court to adjudicate on this motion, nothing in this opinion or in the first proceeding shall properly indicate a point of view with respect to the truth of the allegations or counterclaims or with respect to the intention of the parties to enter cannot be construed as the 2009 Agreement.”
The year is a period of celebration for the royal family as it marks the Queen’s platinum jubilee, but the monarch and senior royals face the prospect of the duke’s accuser to detail his charges in open court this autumn. Is.
The institution of the monarchy is likely to be damaged by Ms Giuffre’s civil sex case, which will be heard in New York and is expected to make headlines around the world.
The Duke’s reputation has already been irreparably tarnished by his friendship with Epstein, a convicted sex offender, and he stepped down from public duties shortly after his disastrous 2019 Newsnight interview, which was a part of his relationship with the disgraced financier. Failed to draw line.
Ms Giuffre has sued the Queen for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
She is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the amount could run into the millions of dollars.
Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was 17 and a minor under US law.
Duke has vehemently denied the allegations and his legal team has argued from the first trial that the case is “baseless”.
There is already speculation that the Duke may be encouraged to reach a settlement with his accuser in order to avoid trial.
It is unclear whether the Duke will testify in person via video link or refuse to attend if the hearing goes ahead.
The settlement between Ms Giuffre and Epstein, made public earlier this month, described how Andrew’s accuser had received a payment of US$500,000 (£370,000) in 2009 and “released” the disgraced financier. acquitted, satisfied and discharged forever”. Any other person or entity that could have been included as a potential defendant”.
The Duke’s lawyer, Andrew B. Brettler, argued during a virtual hearing that his client was a “potential defendant” as defined by the settlement and therefore the case “should be dismissed”.
The attorney said a potential defendant would be someone who Ms Giuffre knew she had made “at the time of filing the lawsuit” against Epstein in 2009, whose ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell was accused of buying teenage girls for her. Was convicted on Dec.
Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boise, said in her counter-argument that only parties to the settlement agreement – Epstein and Ms Giuffre and her aides – could benefit from it, and not “third parties” like Andrew.
He added that Duke would not be a “potential defendant” as referred to in the settlement, as the 2009 trial did not allege that Duke trafficked in persons for illegal sexual activity.
The lawyer said in a hearing held to hear arguments about the dismissal of the case: “He was someone who had girls being trafficked – that’s a different criterion.”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the development, saying: “We will not comment on what constitutes a legal matter.”
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