Court papers have revealed that Virginia Giuffre received $500,000 in a legal settlement with Jeffrey Epstein, the late financier and convicted sex offender whom she accused of sexual abuse. The unsealing stemmed from Giuffre’s sexual abuse lawsuit against Prince Andrew, which she filed on 9 August in Manhattan federal court.
Giuffre has long accused Epstein and his sometime girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, now a convicted sex trafficker, after her New York trial of forcing her into sex with the royal when she was 17.
He vehemently maintains his innocence. Andrew filed Giuffre’s settlement with Epstein as part of his attempt to dismiss her case, arguing that it shields him. Lawyers for the prince contend the settlement contains provisions that bar Giuffre from taking legal action against many Epstein associates.
The unsealed settlement states that upon receipt of the stipulated sum, Giuffre, referred to under her maiden name, agrees to “remise, release, acquit, satisfy and forever discharge the said 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 Roberts, including state or federal, cause and causes of action”.
Andrew is not mentioned. Nor is the lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who Giuffre has accused of sexual misconduct facilitated by Epstein, which he has repeatedly denied.
In a court filing on 29 October, Andrew’s attorneys said: “Giuffre settled her sex-trafficking and sexual-abuse claims against Epstein in 2009. In doing so, she provided Epstein with a general release of all claims against him and numerous other individuals and entities.
“To avoid being dragged into future legal disputes, Epstein negotiated for this broad release, insisting that it cover any and all persons who Giuffre identified as potential targets of future lawsuits, regardless of the merit or lack thereof to any such claims.”
The attorneys also said: “Because Prince Andrew is a senior member of the British royal family, he falls into one of the expressly identified categories of persons, ie, royalty, released from liability under the release agreement, along with politicians, academicians, businessmen and others allegedly associated with Epstein.
“As a third-party beneficiary of the release agreement, Prince Andrew is entitled to enforce the general release contained therein.” Lawyers for Andrew will argue for dismissal on Tuesday. Giuffre’s settlement is discussed extensively in their motion to dismiss.