The settlement was unsealed as part of Giuffre’s civil suit against Prince Andrew, in which she is seeking unspecified damages, claiming that Andrew raped her three times when she was 17, and that she had been trafficked to him by Epstein and his accomplice, convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.
A source close to Giuffre exclusively told The Daily Beast that her side is “pleased” the settlement has now been made public, especially given the relatively small amount of money paid out to Giuffre. Andrew’s side has previously claimed she was paid “millions of dollars” in various lawsuits.
The source said that Andrew’s lawyers’ claims in their legal briefs about the impact of the settlement on Andrew were “simply not accurate,” adding, “It was all a red herring. We are pleased it is out, it stops the public dissembling that people have been doing.”
However, Andrew’s side is likely to argue that because Virgina Giuffre’s complaint against Epstein mentioned “royalty,” the settlement resulting from that complaint therefore applies to “royalty.”
A key section of the agreement said that Giuffre agreed to “forever discharge…any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant” from future legal action. The unsealed court document also states that the agreement will “remise, release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge” defendants in any state or federal lawsuits filed by Giuffre and applies “from the beginning of the world to the day of this release.”
“The release never mentions royalty and he could not have been a potential defendant there,” the Giuffre source added about the agreement.
Giuffre’s civil suit faces a critical challenge Tuesday, when Andrew’s legal team, led by Andrew B. Brettler, will seek to have her motion dismissed, relying in part on the 2009 agreement with Epstein, which Brettler has long argued released Andrew from all legal jeopardy in connection with Giuffre.
Both sides have access to the Epstein agreement, and it formed a significant part of Andrew’s initial legal brief, filed on Oct. 29.
The brief says: “To avoid being dragged into future legal disputes, Epstein negotiated for [a] broad release, insisting that it cover any and all persons who Giuffre identified as potential targets of future lawsuits, regardless of the merit—or lack thereof—to any such claims.”
The paperwork added: “Because Prince Andrew is a senior member of the British royal family, he falls into one of the expressly identified categories of persons, ie, royalty, released from liability under the release agreement, along with politicians, academicians, businessmen, and others allegedly associated with Epstein.
“As a third-party beneficiary of the release agreement, Prince Andrew is entitled to enforce the general release contained therein.”
David Boies, Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer, has previously said that the Epstein settlement is “irrelevant” to Andrew’s case.
Former federal prosecutor Neama Rahmani told The Daily Beast on Monday that the expansive nature of the settlement could cause legal complications for both sides.
“Guiffre’s settlement agreement is one of the broadest I have ever seen,” Rahmani said. “As a plaintiff’s attorney, I never release unknown parties or entities, especially for a mere $500,000 for sexual abuse. The language gives Prince Andrew another strong legal defense to Guiffre’s claims, in addition to the jurisdiction and other defenses his lawyers have raised.”
But Rahmani added that just because the prince “may prevail on a legal grounds, does not mean he is exonerated or factually innocent of wrongdoing.”
“It’s not your typical release, and I would never agree to language like this for a client unless it’s an offer she can’t refuse, which this was not,” he said. “At best, Guiffre will get a default judgment against Prince Andrew because the court can’t compel his attendance in the United States. Unless Maxwell cooperates with prosecutors, and they can independently verify the information she provides, I don’t think the Prince will receive criminal justice.”
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