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A 13-year-old settlement agreement between Virginia Giuffre and the late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has been made public, and Prince Andrew’s lawyers say it shields him from her current civil lawsuit against him.
The 2009 deal, in which Giuffre received $500,000, contains a liability release in which she agreed not to sue anyone connected to Epstein who could be described as a "potential defendant," BBC News reports. Prince Andrew’s lawyers argue that the damages agreement, filed in federal court in Manhattan on Monday, protects him from the current civil lawsuit Giuffre has filed against him due to that clause.
Giuffre, who has been vocal for years about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, filed a federal civil lawsuit against the Royal in August, alleging he sexually abused her when she was 17 while in the company of Epstein and Maxwell. Prince Andrew, 61, has denied the allegation.
Depositions in connection with that lawsuit are expected to begin soon and the 2009 document was released ahead of a Tuesday hearing in which Andrew is expected to ask for the case to be dismissed, the BBC reports. Andrew B. Brettler, the prince's lead lawyer, previously called Giuffre’s claims against Andrew “baseless,” the BBC reports. Andrew’s law team also previously said the case should be thrown out because Giuffre had reached the age of consent during the alleged incidents.
Giuffre’s lawyers say that the 2009 deal, which was confidential until this week, is irrelevant to the case and that it doesn’t cover her claims against the Duke.
In her 2009 claim against Epstein, Giuffre claimed she was “continually exploited to satisfy defendant's [Epstein] every sexual whim” and that she was “required to be sexually exploited by defendant's adult male peers, including royalty, politicians, academicians, businessmen and or other professional and personal acquaintances."
As part of the settlement, Epstein didn't have to admit any liability.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted last month on five federal charges related to transporting minors to engage in criminal sexual activity and sex trafficking of children or by force, fraud or coercion.
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