Today (4 January), US Judge Lewis Kaplan will be hearing Prince Andrew’s plea to dismiss to the lawsuit filed against him by Virginia Giuffre—who was one of sex offender Jeffrey Esptein’s victims.
The royal, who was a long time associate of Epstein and his partner-in-crime Ghislaine Maxwell, has been accused of sexual assault on three different accounts by Giuffre.
The Prince has been vehemently denying all the allegations against him and his legal team has been desperately trying to find a legal loophole to avoid taking the case to court. They’ve particularly been relying on a 2009 agreement between Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein which stipulates that the accuser cannot go after Epstein or 'anyone connected to him.'
The document was finally made public yesterday and revealed that Giuffre was paid $500,000 to not take the lawsuit to court. According to The Independent, the document also mentioned that Giuffre had agreed to:
Release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant.
Although the Prince was not personally named in the documents, his lawyers are hoping to use this condition to have the case overthrown in court.
Will their tactic work?
However, Aljazeera reports that David Bowies, Giuffre’s lawyer, believes that the settlement will not elevate Prince Andrew’s argument as he was never part of that particular lawsuit. He said:
He could not have been a ‘potential defendant’ in the settled case against Jeffrey Epstein both because he was not subject to jurisdiction in Florida and because the Florida case involved federal claims to which he was not a part.
In the end, it’s up to the judge to decide if the stipulation of the agreement gives safety to Prince Andrew or if the royal will have to face his accuser in court. Today's lawsuit proceedings will be taking place at 3 PM (GMT), according to The Independent, and Prince Andrew will be watching through a video-link.