The 2009 settlement struck between the late pedophile and accuser Virginia Giuffre may bar her from suing any of his pals, expert says
Late Jeffrey Epstein’s $500,000 settlement agreement with accuser Virginia Giuffre was made public Monday in her civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew, whose attorneys have argued that the 2009 deal bars her from suing him.
Giuffre, 38, says she was “forced to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will” at the direction of Epstein and his convicted cohort, Ghislaine Maxwell, when she was 17, according to her complaint filed in the Southern District of New York. She also says that he abused her on two other occasions at Epstein’s homes.
Virginia Giuffre has long alleged she was abused by the Duke of York when she was underage (Getty Images)
The 12-page settlement agreement was turned over to Elizabeth II’s middle son in October after one of his lawyers, Andrew Brettler, argued during a Manhattan federal court hearing that the deal “releases the Duke and others from any and all potential liability.”
In the filing, Giuffre agrees not to bring a claim against any of Epstein’s employees, successors or heirs. In addition, it specifies “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant (‘Other Potential Defendants’) from all, and all manner of, action and actions…including State or Federal, cause and causes of actions (common law or statutory)…from the beginning of the world to the day of this release.”
Photo from 2001 that was included in court files shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre. In the background is Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. (U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals)
High-powered attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, who represented drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, said the agreement could absolve Prince Andrew of liability.
“I think that this could be interpreted as not permitting her to sue anyone else for any claims relating to Jeffrey Epstein,” Lichtman told Fox News. “But it really depends on how this is interpreted. It was either purposefully vague or badly written.”
Giuffre’s attorney David Boies said in a statement that the deal does not get Prince Andrew off the hook.
“As we have said from the beginning, the release is irrelevant to Ms. Giuffre’s claim against Prince Andrew,” Boies said. “He could not have been a ‘potential defendant’ in the settled case against Jeffrey Epstein both because he was not subject to jurisdiction in Florida and because the Florida case involved federal claims to which he was not a part.”
The Prince has repeatedly denied Giuffre’s claims. Oral hearings on whether to dismiss Giuffre’s lawsuit against the British royal are slated for Tuesday morning.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted last week of sex trafficking and other charges for which she faces up to 65 years in prison when she’s sentenced later this year.
Epstein hanged himself in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on serious sex crimes charges.
Rebecca Rosenberg is a veteran journalist and book author with a focus on crime and criminal justice. Email tips to email@example.com and @ReRosenberg.