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Prince Andrew has been given access to a sealed document his lawyers believe could help end the sexual abuse case against him.
Andrew has repeatedly denied Virginia Roberts Guiffre’s claims she was sexually assaulted by the prince at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, and at Jeffrey Epstein’s homes in Manhattan and Little Saint James, in the US Virgin Islands.
Giuffre alleged Andrew engaged in sexual acts with her when she was as young as 17 years old, without Giuffre’s consent and while knowing how old she was and ‘that she was a sex-trafficking victim’.
Andrew’s lawyers have previously claimed that in 2009, when Giuffre settled her damages claim against Epstein, she agreed not to sue anyone else connected to the billionaire sex offender.
Andrew B Brettler, who represents Andrew, has argued the ‘settlement agreement’ would end Giuffre’s current legal action, though the precise wording of the deal is currently confidential after having been sealed by a court.
Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, has previously expressed his belief the document is not relevant to the case, and in a court document filed on Wednesday, October 6, US Judge Loretta Preska agreed to a request from Boies to provide Andrew’s team with access to it.
In previous comments about the document, per BBC News, Boies said: ‘Although we believe that the release is irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew, now that service has been accepted and the case is proceeding to a determination on the merits, we believe that counsel for Prince Andrew have a right to review the release and to make whatever arguments they believe appropriate based on it.’
During the first pre-trial hearing of the case last month, Andrew’s lawyer said the agreement ‘releases the duke and others from any and all potential liability’.
Though the agreement reportedly releases lawyers, employees, agents and heirs from liability in connection with the Epstein case, it is not thought to apply to Andrew.
Andrew, who is the Queen’s 61-year-old second son, told BBC Two’s Newsnight programme in 2019 that the claims made by Giuffre ‘didn’t happen’.
He continued: ‘I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.’
The prince has not been charged with crimes but must formally respond to Giuffre’s lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, by October 29.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas
Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays
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