Jeffrey Epstein Paid Prince Andrew Accuser $500,000 in 2009 Settlement
(Bloomberg) -- A woman suing Prince Andrew for sexual assault agreed in a confidential 2009 settlement with Jeffrey Epstein to release “any other person” involved in the case from litigation in exchange for $500,000.
Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against Queen Elizabeth’s second son is barred by that language, newly revealed in documents unsealed on Monday, Andrew claims. But her lawyer, David Boies, says it’s a red herring.
“The release is irrelevant to Ms. Giuffre’s claim against Prince Andrew,” said Boies. “The release does not mention Prince Andrew.”
The issue will be aired in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday, when U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan hears arguments on Andrew’s motion to dismiss the suit. Giuffre claims the British royal was one of several powerful men to whom Epstein “lent” her for sexual abuse when she was a teenager. Andrew has denied her allegations.
A litigation release in the November 2009 deal says it applies to Epstein and “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant” in the suit Giuffre filed against Epstein in federal court in Florida earlier that year.
Boies said Andrew could not have been a “potential defendant” covered by the settlement, because he wasn’t subject to jurisdiction in Florida and that case involved federal claims of which the British royal wasn’t a part. Andrew was also unaware of the release at the time it was signed, Boies said.
The settlement was also raised in a suit by Giuffre against Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, with whom she also claims she had underage sex. She sued him for defamation in 2019 after he repeatedly denied her claims and called her a liar. Dershowitz, who counter-sued Giuffre for defamation and infliction of emotional distress, also said the 2009 deal barred her claims.
The nine-page agreement includes a requirement that the amount of the settlement remain confidential. The parties also agreed that the deal “should not in any way be construed as an admission by Jeffrey Epstein” that he violated any federal or state laws.
Epstein’s former longtime girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell was found guilty last week of sex trafficking. While Giuffre didn’t testify in that trial, prosecutors told jurors she was a victim of the couple’s abuse, and she was mentioned by name by two witnesses.
Federal prosecutors put Epstein’s net worth at more than $500 million and said he had an income of more than $10 million a year when he was arrested in 2019.
Epstein, who was found dead in his jail cell before he could go on trial for sex-trafficking, left an estate that included about $194 million in hedge fund and private equity investments, $113 million held in equities and $57 million in cash, according to a court filing.
Before he died, Epstein used high-pressure litigation tactics and secret settlements to keep details of his sexual behavior out of the public eye. Some settlements exceeded $1 million, with three women agreeing to drop their suits for a total of $5.5 million. After Epstein died, his estate set up a compensation fund that distributed about $125 million to 135 victims.
Maxwell’s lawyers aggressively questioned the women who testified against her about amounts they received in lawsuits and the fund. “Jane” said on the stand that she received $5 million. Prosecutors pointed out that Maxwell received some $30 million from Epstein.
Andrew’s lawyers said in his motion to dismiss Giuffre’s suit that she was looking for “another payday” by accusing “a member of the world’s best known royal family of serious misconduct.”
The case is Giuffre v. Prince Andrew, 21-cv-06702, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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