breaking

Prince Andrew’s legal drama just took a major turn

Prince Andrew, and inset, Virginia Giuffre
Prince Andrew, and inset, Virginia Giuffre (Photos: Shutterstock/Virginia Giuffre)

Prince Andrew has agreed to a financial settlement “in principle” with Virginia Giuffre in the civil case brought against him in New York.

Giuffre has accused the Duke of York of sexual abuse on three occasions dating back 20 years (when she was known by her maiden name of Virginia Roberts).

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A document submitted to the US court by Giuffre’s attorneys states, “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). Both parties are looking to file for dismissal within the next 30 days.

“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.”

Prince Andrew’s representatives declined to comment to the BBC beyond what has been included in the statement.

Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, told the PA News agency: “I believe this event speaks for itself.”

Related: Prince Andrew is reportedly calling on another accused sexual predator for help in his sex abuse trial

Giuffre says she was forced to have sex with the Prince by the late, convicted sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and his on-off girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell.

Maxwell was herself found guilty in December in her own sex trafficking trial. She will be sentenced on June 28.

Prince Andrew vehemently denies the claims of assault and rape. His lawyers have been attempting to have the case thrown out, but until today’s developments, the case was all set to go ahead over the summer. The Royal, the Queen’s third child, was due to give evidence under deposition on March 10 in London. However, today’s news suggests the case will be dismissed before then.