Prince Andrew did not persuade a decide to toss a lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing a teenage lady many years in the past.
Virginia Giuffre claims the British royal was considered one of a number of highly effective males to whom Jeffrey Epstein “lent” her for abuse as a young person. Andrew has denied her allegation but in addition argued to a federal decide in New York that he’s shielded from swimsuit by a 2009 settlement between Giuffre and Epstein.
U.S. District Decide Lewis Kaplan stated Wednesday it was too early within the case to find out the that means of the settlement.
“The events have articulated at the very least two affordable interpretations of the vital language,” Kaplan stated in a 43-page opinion. “The settlement due to this fact is ambiguous. Accordingly, the dedication of the that means of the discharge language within the 2009 settlement should await additional proceedings.”
Andrew Brettler, the Los Angeles-based lawyer who argued Andrew’s movement to dismiss, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. Legal professionals for Giuffre additionally didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
In her grievance, Giuffre described an alleged encounter in London throughout which Epstein, his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell and Andrew compelled an underage Giuffre to have intercourse. Maxwell was convicted final month of sex-trafficking teenage ladies for Epstein.
The ruling signifies that Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, should present proof demanded by Giuffre’s workforce if he continues to defend the case, a course of that would take many months and even years. The prince stepped other than representing the royal household publicly after a disastrous 2019 interview with the BBC during which he sought unsuccessfully to put to relaxation suspicions tied to his friendship with Epstein and Maxwell.
The ruling is just not a shock, as Kaplan had expressed skepticism about Andrew’s arguments in a Jan. 4 listening to. And he declined to delay the pretrial alternate of proof, an indication he was enthusiastic about permitting the swimsuit to go ahead.
Giuffre signed a $500,000 settlement with Epstein in November 2009 after suing him earlier that yr. The discharge covers Epstein, his legal professionals, workers and “every other particular person or entity who may have been included as a possible defendant” in her swimsuit.
Within the listening to, Kaplan questioned how Epstein may have meant that the settlement, which was to stay secret, can be utilized by Andrew to guard himself. In his choice, the decide additional identified that Giuffre, the opposite occasion to the settlement, might have had very completely different targets than Epstein in reaching a deal.
“The targets of 1 in Ms. Giuffre’s place hypothetically may have included getting as a lot cash as she may for settling the case and preserving as a lot of her freedom to go after different alleged wrongdoers as she may whereas nonetheless getting an appropriate sum of cash,” Kaplan wrote.
The nine-page settlement, made public on Jan. 3, features a requirement that the settlement quantity stay confidential. The events additionally agreed that the deal “shouldn’t in any approach be construed as an admission by Jeffrey Epstein” that he violated any federal or state legal guidelines.
Kaplan rejected Andrew’s different arguments to throw out the case, together with that Giuffre’s claims had been insufficiently clear. The decide had mocked that argument in the course of the Jan. 4 listening to.
“It was sexual activity. Involuntary sexual activity,” Kaplan stated. “There’s little question about what meaning, at the very least since someone else was within the White Home,” an obvious reference to Invoice Clinton, who appointed him to the federal bench.
The case is Giuffre v. Prince Andrew, 21-cv-06702, U.S. District Court docket, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
–With help from Patricia Hurtado.
Copyright 2022 Bloomberg.
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