Prince Andrew’s lawyer requested a New York judge on Tuesday to keep a 2009 legal agreement private, claiming it can protect the prince from charges that he sexually abused an American lady when she was under the age of 18.
The motion was made in court papers filed in Manhattan federal court, where U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan is overseeing Virginia Giuffre’s August complaint. The prince allegedly assaulted her on several occasions in 2001, when she was 17 and a child under US law, according to the lawsuit.
Andrew’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, said he is preparing written arguments to ask for the lawsuit to be dismissed, and that he wants to add a confidential agreement that he claims bars the litigation against Andrew. The case, according to Brettler, is “baseless.” He also asked that any parts of his arguments that expose material from the agreement be redacted.
The prince and Giuffre do not argue that the release agreement should be kept secret, according to Brettler, but they do want it to be kept hidden since it is subject to a protective order from another judge hearing over a federal civil action in New York.
Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein, who was discovered dead in his cell in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting a sex trafficking prosecution in a New York federal jail, came to an arrangement.
His death was determined to be a suicide.
“Prince Andrew and others are released from any alleged liability deriving from the accusations Ms. Giuffre asserted against Prince Andrew here,” Brettler concluded. The lawsuit will be the subject of a pretrial hearing next week. Andrew informed the BBC in late 2019 that he never had sex with Giuffre and that “it didn’t happen.”
Following a review initiated by Giuffre’s charges, British police announced earlier this month that they will not take any action against the prince. They also stated that charges that Epstein’s accused accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, trafficked, groomed, and mistreated women and girls in the United Kingdom would result in no action.
Maxwell, a British socialite who was once Epstein’s girlfriend, faces sex trafficking charges in November in New York.
She has entered a not guilty plea. People who claim to have been victims of sexual assault are rarely identified by the Associated Press unless they choose to come forward publicly, as Giuffre has.