The Duke of York and Virginia Giuffre reached an agreement in the case on Tuesday.
15 February 2022
The Duke of York has agreed to make a “substantial donation” to Virginia Giuffre’s charity after the pair agreed an undisclosed out-of-court settlement in her civil sex claim against him.
In a letter submitted on behalf of both parties to the United States District Court on Tuesday, Andrew’s legal representatives said he has “never intended to malign Ms Giuffre’s character” and that he “regrets his association” with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
The agreement states the duke will donate to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights and that he has pledged to “demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein” by supporting the “fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims”.
Ms Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, made the claim against Andrew for damages in her home country of the US, claiming she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew’s friend, to have sex with the royal when she was 17, a minor under US law.
Although the parties have settled the case, the agreement is not an admission of guilt from the duke and he has always strenuously denied the allegations against him.
An attachment to the letter announcing the settlement gave brief details of the agreement between Andrew and Ms Giuffre but indicated the sum would not be disclosed.
It read: “Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew have reached an out of court settlement.
“The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms Giuffre’s receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed).
“Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights.
“Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.
“It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years.
“Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.
“He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.”
Responding to the settlement, one of Ms Giuffre’s lawyers, David Boies, said: “I believe this event speaks for itself.”
Sigrid McCawley, who also represents the duke’s accuser, added: “As a managing partner at a firm that has from its beginning acted upon the belief that the law should be marshalled to bring justice to the most vulnerable, I can say, without hesitation, that our representation of survivors upholds that tradition.
“I am very pleased with the resolution of Virginia Giuffre’s litigation against Prince Andrew.”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the development.
The Queen stripped her second son of his prestigious honorary military titles and royal patronages in January, and he stopped using his HRH style, in a move that effectively cast him adrift from the institution.
It is understood that the statement released by the Palace on January 13, outlining the changes, still stands, with the duke continuing not to undertake any public duties.
In January, the duke’s lawyers submitted 11 reasons why the case against him should be dismissed, saying he demanded a trial by jury.
Royal author Penny Junor said the settlement made by the Duke of York is likely to come as a “huge relief” to the rest of the royal family.
She told the PA news agency: “Going to trial, it could have been very, very nasty.
“It could have been embarrassing, humiliating, and it would have been huge fodder for the tabloid press.”
Also giving her reaction to the news, Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing a number of Epstein’s victims said she and her clients “salute Virginia’s stunning courage”.
In a tweet, she said: “We hail Virginia’s victory today.
“She has accomplished what no one else could: getting Prince Andrew to stop his nonsense and side with sexual abuse victims.
“We salute Virginia’s stunning courage.”
Representatives of the duke said they would not be commenting further than what was said in the documents submitted to the court.
Andrew’s representatives also declined to comment on how the substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity would be funded.