Prince Andrew to defend sex case ‘as a private citizen’ after returning royal patronage

Prince Andrew has returned his royal patronage and will defend his upcoming sexual affair as a “private citizen”, it has been announced.

A Buckingham Palace statement said: “With the approval and agreement of the Queen, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and royal patronage have been returned to the Queen.

“The Duke of York will not perform any public duty and is defending the matter as a private citizen.”

The announcement comes a day after it was confirmed that Duke would face trial in the US for a civil sex case.

She is being prosecuted by Virginia Giuffre, who alleged that he sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager. She is seeking unspecified damages.

She claims she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 years old and a minor under US law. Prince Andrew has denied all allegations.

The Duke of York will also no longer use the “His Royal Highness” style in any official capacity, a royal source told the PA news agency.

A US court was told at an earlier hearing that Duke’s accuser had waived her right to sue for sexual assault when she signed a $500,000 (£370,000) settlement agreement.

Brettler, Prince Andrew’s lawyer, argued during a video conference hearing that Virginia Giuffre’s confidential settlement with Epstein ended her right to pursue someone else.

The document, made public last week, detailed how Prince Andrew’s accuser received a payment of $500,000 in 2009 and released, acquitted, satisfied and “acquired” disgraced financier Epstein and “any other person or entity”. agreed to grant forever leave, which could be incorporated as one. potential defendant.”

The Duke’s lawyer said of the damages claim brought by Ms Giuffre: “It is unfair, it is unjust, it must be dismissed.”

Outlining his reasons for rejecting the Duke of York’s motion to dismiss the civil case against him, Judge Lewis Kaplan held that a settlement in civil settlement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre was “to his advantage”. cannot be said.

In his ruling on Wednesday, he said: “The 2009 agreement cannot be said to demonstrate, clearly and unequivocally, that the parties ‘directly,’ ‘primarily’ or The means ‘to a large extent’ is intended.

“The existence of an intended intention to benefit him, or others like him, is an issue of the fact that the motion cannot be properly decided even if the defendant has fallen into the language of release, which is itself is ambiguous.

“Thus, independent of whether the language of the release applies to Prince Andrew, the agreement is, at least, ‘reasonably susceptible to more than one interpretation’ on the equally important question of whether this defendant can apply.”

He continued: “The fact that the respondent has brought the matter before the Court on a motion to dismiss the complaint as legally insufficient is of central importance.

“As the lawyers are well aware, but perhaps not known to the public, the defendant, by making this motion, placed a strict duty on the court to assume the truth of all the allegations of the plaintiff, for the purposes of this motion only. and to draw all such conclusions in favor of the plaintiff as can reasonably be drawn from those charges.

“As a result, the law prevents the Court from considering the defendant’s attempts to cast doubt on the veracity of Ms. Giuffre’s allegations at this stage of the proceedings, even though her efforts would be permissible at trial.

“In a similar vein and for similar reasons, it is not open to the court to decide, exactly, what the parties to the release actually meant in the 2009 settlement agreement signed by Ms. Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein. “

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