The trial of the crimes of the late financier Jeffrey Epstein continues to break secrets. This Monday the confidentiality agreement that the alleged victim Virginia Giuffre reached in 2009 with the millionaire pedophile, who died in his cell in August 2019, was made public. The woman received $ 500,000 to avoid carrying out a process in court. Giuffre claims to have been forced by Epstein and his girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, recently convicted of child sex trafficking, to have sex with Prince Andrew of England when she was 17 years old. The alleged victim, despite the agreement, continues with her lawsuit against the third son of Elizabeth II.
Giuffre, who is 38 years old today, filed his lawsuit against the Duke of York on August 9 in a New York court. “What I do is demand that Prince Andrew respond to what he did to me,” the alleged victim then said. “The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions,” he added in the case of sexual abuse, where he seeks compensation for damages.
Prince Andrew, 61, maintains that he is innocent. His defense has tried to use in court the agreement reached by Giuffre and Epstein, where the duke does not appear, to dismiss the case. The lawyers affirm that the pact also protects the son of Isabel II, since one of the payment requirements was the withdrawal of new legal actions not only against the deceased millionaire but also with other figures with whom he is associated. The agreement stipulates that “any other person or entity that may have been included as a potential defendant is released.”
Andrew Brettler, the prince’s lawyer, has said the agreement reached 12 years ago frees the Duke of York from any liability because the pact covered “royalty.” David Boies, Giuffre’s lawyer, who resides in Australia, assures that this protection is limited to those who are linked to the Epstein process that was being followed in the State of Florida and that Prince Andrew cannot use the agreement to remain unpunished.
District Judge Lewis Kaplan will decide whether the agreement reached with Epstein also serves to legally protect the member of the British royal family. The defense of Prince Andrew will have a new opportunity to request the judge to dismiss the case at a hearing scheduled for this Tuesday morning. Brettler also affirms in his arguments that the Manhattan court does not have jurisdiction in the case, since the plaintiff does not reside in the country despite the fact that in the complaint he affirmed that he had an address in the State of Colorado.
The legal process against the son of the monarch Elizabeth II is still in an early stage. Judge Kaplan has said that, if it goes ahead and if there is no agreement between the parties, the trial would begin between September and December of this year. Last week, Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty of recruiting and grooming several minors to have sex with Epstein or some of his friends between 1994 and 2004. Giuffre’s indictment is separate from the Maxwell trial, but the ruling may have a impact on this process. The Duke of York himself has said that this has affected his work as a member of the royal house.
The Epstein case forced the Duke to abandon his foundations and many of his philanthropic activities stemming from the Windsor obligations. In an interview with the BBC at the end of 2019, where he tried to clear his name after the suicide of his friend, who was awaiting trial, the member of the royal family maintained that he was willing to collaborate with the investigation. It has not, to date.
Giuffre, one of nearly 30 women who have testified, testified before the judge how Epstein abused her twice. The lawsuit claims that one of Prince Andrew’s abuses occurred at Maxwell’s London home, considered the madame Epstein. On another occasion, according to the court document filed last August, he abused her at Epstein’s mansion in New York. The financier led a pedophile plot for more than a decade with which he recruited dozens of girls to sexually exploit them. His friends included former Presidents Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, powerful attorney Alan Dershowitz, and the Duke of York, among others. If it goes ahead, the trial of Prince Andrew could confirm his role as the most troubled member of the British royal family.