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Prince Andrew's lawyers say 2009 settlement protects him from civil suits connected to Epstein ring

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York Giuffre lawsuit
Posted at 5:51 AM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-04 08:51:22-05

NEW YORK — A 2009 lawsuit settlement that Prince Andrew's lawyers claim protects him from being sued by an American woman has been publicly released.

The document, which was made public in federal court on Monday, involves a $500,000 settlement between Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein. The document said that in exchange for the cash, Giuffre agreed not to sue any other "potential defendant" stemming from Epstein's connections.

The prince’s lawyers say that language should bar Virginia Giuffre from suing Andrew now, even though he wasn’t a party to the original settlement.

Giuffre says she was among the young girls that Epstein and his associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, groomed as part of the trafficking operation. Giuffre sued Prince Andrew in August, saying he'd sexually assaulted her multiple times when she was 17 as part of the Epstein-run sex ring.

A 2001 photo showing the prince, Giuffre and Epstein associate and convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell has been made public, and Andrew has said publicly that he once had a friendly relationship with Epstein. However, the prince maintains the assaults never happened.

Prosecutors claim Epstein ran a sex trafficking ring in the late '90s and early '00s out of his estate in South Florida. Epstein was arrested in July 2019 on charges of sexually abusing dozens of girls. He died by suicide in jail a month later.

Epstein had previously served 13 months in jail in connection with a 2008 Florida conviction on prostitution charges and solicitation of a minor. Experts have called that conviction a "sweetheart deal" between Epstein and local prosecutors.

A jury convicted Maxwell for her role in Epstein's trafficking operation late last year. She's set to be sentenced in the weeks ahead and could be facing up to 70 years in prison.

Prior to his death, Epstein was known to have high-profile connections with world leaders like the prince and former presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.