Social media has been lit up with memes poking fun at Prince Andrew for reaching an agreement with Virginia Giuffre in her New York sexual assault lawsuit against him.
The royal has agreed to an undisclosed £7.5m or $10m deal with his sexual harassment accuser despite not admitting to her allegations.
Many have targeted the Duke’s previous claims that he “never met” Giuffre, arguing that agreeing to a solid settlement with her clearly proves otherwise. He also claimed that he was at the Pizza Express with his daughters on the night of the alleged attack.
Court documents filed in New York this morning showed the Duke of York and Giuffre had reached a ‘agreement in principle’ over the civil sex lawsuit, but royal experts said it was ‘very, very unlikely’ that there was a way to return to public royalty. . life for the queen’s son.
Andrew will now make a “substantial donation” to Giuffre’s victims’ rights charity and praised her “bravery” and that of other trafficking victims, saying he “never intended” to tarnish her character.
Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, sued him last August, alleging he sexually abused her over two decades ago when she was 17, a minor under U.S. law while a late financier and convicted for sex crimes, Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her.
Social media exploded in reaction to Prince Andrew’s agreement with Virginia Giuffre, announced on Tuesday. The two stand with Ghislaine Maxwell in the background in London on March 13, 2001.
Although the parties have reconciled, this agreement is not an admission of guilt by Andrew, and he has always vehemently denied the allegations against him.
“Prince Andrew never intended to vilify the character of Giuffre, and he acknowledges that she has suffered both as an acknowledged victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks,” the document said in a New York court today.
“Jeffrey Epstein has been known to sell countless young girls over the years. Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein and commends the bravery of Giuffre and other survivors in protecting themselves and others.
“He promises to show his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evil of sex trafficking and supporting its victims,” the conclusion reads.
The attachment to the letter announcing the settlement to the public and the United States District Court gave brief details of the agreement between Andrew and Giuffre, but indicated that the amount would not be disclosed.
Lawyer David Boyce, who represents Giuffre, said lawyers for both sides told the judge an agreement in principle had been reached and they would demand that the lawsuit be dismissed within a month.
The settlement means that the civil case will not go to trial by jury, and also that Andrew will no longer be questioned under oath by Giuffre’s lawyers, which was expected to happen in the coming weeks.
Buckingham Palace today declined to comment on developments that are taking place ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer in May and June, as well as a service at Westminster Abbey in memory of the late Prince Philip next month. Royal family sources told ITV News that the case involved the duke and his team of lawyers.
Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents eight of Epstein’s victims, called the news a “victory” for Giuffre, tweeting on behalf of the eight: “Today we salute Virginia’s victory. She achieved what no one else could: she forced Prince Andrew to stop his stupidity and take the side of the victims of sexual violence. We applaud Virginia’s amazing courage.”
Court documents show that Prince Andrew will make a “substantial donation to Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights.”
Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, is pictured in Perth, Australia last week, Feb. 8.
A joint statement released today by Virginia Giuffre’s attorney David Boyce and Prince Andrew’s attorney Andrew Brettler.
Letter addressed to U.S. Judge Lewis A. Kaplan, who oversaw the case, from David Boyce, attorney for Virginia Giuffre.
While the size of the settlement is not yet known, reports last month suggested that Andrew could avoid legal action by using the £18m sale of his Swiss chalet to try to pay Giuffre out of at least £10m of the proceeds.
A senior palace source told MailOnline today that the settlement is believed to be slightly lower at around £7.5m or $10m and the deal can only be a “principled settlement” at this point because the sale of his Swiss chalet hasn’t passed yet. The source said the settlement is likely to be made when the sale of the property is completed, adding that he expects Andrew to be in Phillip’s employ on March 29.
Under pressure from Buckingham Palace, the source added: “I’m sure Charles got fed up and blew the gasket. Charles would have told him that he needed to sort this out as soon as possible and before the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations began. Charles didn’t want it hanging over the royal family this year.”
Emily Baker, a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney, told MailOnline that the settlement would be “at a minimum” seven figures and “significant”, while London-based criminal defense lawyer Anna Rothwell said it was “not surprising” that Andrew settled the case. because the BBC interview provided such “rich material for cross-examination”.
The Metropolitan Police closed their investigation of Andrew last October, saying they would take “no further action,” but recent developments raise questions about whether he could be questioned in the future.
Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, retired from public life as a member of the royal family in 2019 after a widely derided BBC interview in which he tried to clear himself of the allegations.
Epstein committed suicide at the age of 66 in a New York prison cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.