A New York court in the United States is scheduled to convene to hear a sexual assault lawsuit brought against the British royal Prince Andrew the third child and second son of Queen Elizabeth II.
Virginia Giuffre accuses Prince Andrew of assaulting her while at a home of Jeffrey Epstein in New York, and on his private island in the US Virgin Islands.
Giuffre sued the prince for unspecified damages last year, alleging he sexually assaulted her in 2001 when she was 17 and a minor under American law.
Giuffre alleges that Epstein lent her out for sex with his wealthy and powerful associates, including Andrew, an allegation the prince has repeatedly and strenuously denied.
A deal made public for the first time Monday by a New York court shows that Giuffre agreed to drop a civil case against Epstein for U$500,000 in Florida in 2009.
The settlement contained a provision that purports to protect “other potential defendants” from being sued related to alleged sexual abuse committed by Epstein, who killed himself in jail two and a half years ago.
Prince Andrew’s lawyers are expected to argue that a once-confidential settlement between accuser Virginia Giuffre and late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein unveiled on Monday protects Andrew from litigation.
The hearing, to be held between the parties’ representatives via video conference with press and public able to listen in by telephone, starts at 10:00 am.
Maxwell, who introduced Andrew to Epstein in the early 1990s, faces life behind bars after being convicted by New York jurors of five of the six counts she faced following a high-profile month-long trial.
Epstein died aged 66 in a Manhattan jail in 2019, in what New York’s coroner ruled was a suicide, after being charged with child sex trafficking charges.
He was convicted in 2008 of paying young girls for sexual massages at his Florida mansion but served just 13 months in jail after striking a deal with the state prosecutor at the time.
Andrew has rarely been seen in public since he was forced to quit the royal frontline in 2019 for failing to distance himself from Epstein.