After the New York hearing, a US judge will determine “soon”, possibly in days, whether the Duke of York’s civil sex suit against him will be dropped.
The lawyer for Prince Andrew told Lewis A Kaplan, the judge, that Prince Andrew could be covered under a deal made in 2009 by Virginia Giuffre with Jeffrey Epstein.
Ms Giuffre has sued the prince alleging that he sexually assaulted him when she was 17, and an American minor.
These allegations were denied by the Duke.
On Tuesday Judge Kaplan stated that he enjoyed the “arguments” and “passion” about the 2009 agreement at a virtual hearing.
Although he said that he would make a decision to dismiss the case “pretty quickly”, he declined to specify when exactly.
Ms Giuffre claims that Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, both now-convicted, trafficked her in to sexual abuse and exploit – which included three instances in which she was supposed to have sex with Prince Andrew.
Yesterday’s 2009 settlement agreement revealed that Epstein, a now deceased financier, paid Ms Giuffre $500,000 in order to settle a claim for damages. She also agreed to not bring future lawsuits against any other “potentially defendants.”
The agreement does not name Prince Andrew (61), leading his lawyers argue that the deal is so Ms Giuffre can no longer sue him. Her lawyers refute this argument.
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Andrew B Brettler, a lawyer for Prince Andrew told Judge Kaplan that there was a possible defendant during the virtual hearing. He said it was someone who wasn’t named but could have been.
His explanation was that Ms Giuffre could be a defendant because she knew of potential claims against her at the time she filed the suit in 2009.
Judge Kaplan claimed that the phrase “potential”, which he and Mr Brettler couldn’t “find any meaning in at all,” was an expression that neither Kaplan nor Brettler could understand.
Judge Kaplan heard Mr Brettler tell Prince Andrew that Andrew “could’ve been sued at that time” but that it was not. Ms Giuffre also stated that she wanted Ms Giuffre “to lock herself in a story right now” and to give more specific details.
Judge Kaplan said that it was not required at this point in the process, and “just aren’t law”.
Brettler concluded the matter by saying that it should be “absolutely dismissed”.
David Boies represented Ms Giuffre and said Tuesday that Prince Andrew was not a potential defendant as described in civil case documents published Monday. This is for two reasons.
He stated that the only claim made was in Florida, in 2009’s action covering Prince Andrew. It was the third count of transporting someone for illegal sexual activities.
There is no evidence that Prince Andrew transported the goods. It is not possible to allege that Prince Andrew was trafficked.
“He was the one to whom girls were being trafficked.”
At the conclusion of the hearing Judge Kaplan asked both the Epstein and Giuffre lawyers if the Epstein-Giuffre damages settlement could possibly be used by Prince Andrew in order to end the case.
According to the 2009 agreement, Virginia Giuffre and Epstein agreed not to disclose their deal to any other party unless required by a court.
They both accepted, secondly, that they could not use the agreement in any court proceeding that wasn’t directly related to its enforcement.
Judge Kaplan stated that Epstein and Ms Giuffre could have to agree on whether the settlement can be used for the release of other defendants.
He stated that if someone was sued, Jeffrey Epstein would have said the person was in the release. It was okay with Ms Giuffre. [the deal]Epstein could make it available, and he could enforce it.
Brettler raised objections, claiming that US law clearly stated that third parties (such as Prince Andrew) had the right to use settlement to stop them from being unfairly taken to trial.
Lawyers for Ms Giuffre stated that in Epstein’s 2009 lawsuit, Ms Giuffre claimed she was also exploited. Ms Giuffre claims that Epstein required her to sexually exploit “adult male peers” such as royalty, academics, businessmen, and politicians.
Epstein agreed on 17 Nov 2009 to pay Epstein $500,000 in order to stop the case from going to trial. Although the deal was confidential, it is now public due to its possible importance in relation to Prince Andrew.
Epstein was in jail in 2019, while waiting for his trial on charges of sex-trafficking.
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