Prince Andrew has reached a tentative out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre, who accused the British royal family member of sexually abusing her when she was 17 years old. Giuffre, who was one of Jeffrey Epstein‘s victims, sued Andrew in August.
Rather than move forward with the lawsuit, Andrew will pay Giuffre an undisclosed sum, as well as make a “substantial” donation to her charity in support of victims’ rights, according to a statement released today (Feb. 15).
Giuffre’s attorney said lawyers on both sides plan to request a dismissal of the lawsuit within a month.
In a lawsuit (pdf) filed in federal court six months ago, Giuffre accused the prince of sexually abusing her when she was 17 years old. The lawsuit claims Giuffre was regularly abused by Epstein, and was lent out “to other powerful men for sexual purposes,” including Prince Andrew.
Andrew denied the charges, and claimed the lawsuit was an effort to make money off of allegations against Epstein through court settlements and deals with the media.
“Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him,” the prince’s lawyers said in October. Andrew’s lawyers tried unsuccessfully to get the lawsuit dismissed last month, arguing a previous settlement made between Giuffre and Epstein in 2009 rendered it moot.
Andrew has now acknowledged that “Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years,” and accepted Giuffre has suffered “both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.”
Should the lawsuit be dismissed, Andrew will evade a deposition with Giuffre’s lawyers that was supposed to take place next month, in which he was to be questioned under oath.
While it’s not clear how big a dent the settlement will make on Andrew’s fortune, his duties as a member of the British monarchy have diminished since the legal battle with Giuffre escalated. Buckingham Palace announced on Jan. 13 they would strip the prince of his military titles and royal charities. While he remains the duke of York, the prince is no longer permitted to use the title “His Royal Highness.”