Prince Andrew gets annihilated by U.K. press after settling sex abuse case: 'His final disgrace'

Prince Andrew gets annihilated by U.K. press after settling sex abuse case: 'His final disgrace'

February 16, 2022

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Prince Andrew is being annihilated by the press following news of his bombshell lawsuit.

The British royal, who was accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl supplied to him by convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, agreed on Tuesday to settle by making a substantial donation to his accuser’s charity and declaring he never meant to malign her character.

The case dominated the front pages of the U.K. press all depicting a grim Duke of York. The Sun labeled the 61-year-old’s case as “His Final Disgrace” while The Daily Mail’s headline read, “Duke’s Final ‘£10 Million’ Humiliation.”

The Daily Telegraph chose to focus on how Andrew will pay his accuser more than £12 million – or more than $16 million – using money from his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. As for the Daily Star, they went with “Shaming of Plain Old Andy Windsor – Royal wrong ‘un pays out to sex victim he’s never met. As you do,” while the Daily Express chose, “Andrew Cuts Sex Case Deal… But There’s No Way Back.”

Royal author Omid Scobie, who tweeted the covers of the outlets, slammed Andrew for the way he handled the case.

“In the end, Andrew took accountability for nothing,” Scobie tweeted. “Instead, he did what only the privileged elite get to do: bought his way out. In the process, he took advantage of his elderly mother’s love (and cheque book) during a year her children should only be lifting her up. A disgrace.”

Andrew’s deal avoids a trial that would have brought further embarrassment to the monarchy. Besides the undisclosed donation to Virginia Giuffre’s charity, it says Andrew acknowledges that the 38-year-old has suffered as an abuse victim. It did not specify whether Giuffre would personally receive money as part of the settlement.

Attorney David Boies, representing Giuffre, told the New York federal judge overseeing the case in a letter that a settlement in principle had been reached and lawyers on both sides would request a dismissal of the lawsuit within a month.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said he would suspend the case until March 17, when he might set a trial date if the lawyers don’t ask for a dismissal by then.

Giuffre sued Andrew in August. The American accused the British royal of sexually abusing her while she traveled with Epstein. Andrew strenuously denied Giuffre’s allegations and attempted to get the lawsuit tossed earlier this year.

Attached to the letter from Boies was a statement that read: “Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew have reached an out-of-court settlement. The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms. Giuffre’s receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed).”

“Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights. Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.”

David Boies, representing several of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims, center, arrives with Annie Farmer, right, and Virginia Giuffre, alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein, second left, at federal court in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Epstein, a convicted pedophile, killed himself in prison while awaiting trial on charges of conspiracy and trafficking minors for sex.
(Mark Kauzlarich/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

According to the statement, Andrew acknowledged that Epstein, an American financier, trafficked “countless young girls” over many years and said the prince “regrets his association with Epstein and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.”

He also pledged to support the victims of sex trafficking as part of demonstrating his regret.

The tentative settlement came weeks after Kaplan last month rejected the prince’s attempt to win an early dismissal of the lawsuit, meaning depositions and other evidence gatherings could commence.

After Kaplan ruled, Andrew — who had already stepped back from royal duties — was stripped of his honorary military titles and roles and leadership of various charities, known as royal patronages. He also can no longer use the title “his royal highness” in official settings.

Virginia Giuffre holds a photo of herself at age 16, when she says Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein began abusing her sexually.
(Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

The decision was an effort to insulate the House of Windsor from the fallout from potentially years of sordid headlines if the lawsuit moved forward.

It came after more than 150 veterans and serving members of the armed forces asked the queen to strip her second son of his military titles, saying he had failed to live up to the “very highest standards of probity, honesty and honorable conduct” that are expected of British officers.

Giuffre asserted that she met Andrew while she traveled frequently with Epstein between 2000 and 2002 when her lawyers maintain she was “on call for Epstein for sexual purposes” and was “lent out to other powerful men,” including Andrew.

Her lawsuit said she still suffers significant emotional and psychological distress and harm. She has alleged she had sex with Andrew three times: in London during a 2001 trip, at Epstein’s New York mansion when she was 17 and in the Virgin Islands when she was 18.

Photo from 2001 that was included in court files shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell. (Florida Southern District Court)
(U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals)

Andrew repeatedly denied Giuffre’s allegations and has said he can’t recall ever meeting her, although a photograph of Giuffre and Andrew together in a London townhouse, his arm around her bare midriff, was included in Giuffre’s lawsuit against him.

Inconsistencies in her statements over the years that would have been highlighted by Andrew’s attorneys at trial may have motivated her, in part, to settle, though she has explained them as innocent mistakes that occur when recalling traumatic events years later.

Andrew served in the Royal Navy for two decades, including as a helicopter pilot during the 1982 Falklands War. The honorary military roles he lost included several overseas ones, such as his title as colonel-in-chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment.

He has spent years combating concerns about his links with Epstein, who took his life at age 66 in 2019 in a Manhattan federal lockup while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges. Epstein’s longtime companion Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted of related charges last month.

A settlement of the Andrew lawsuit would follow deals reached by Giuffre years ago to resolve separate lawsuits against Maxwell and Epstein. It was recently revealed that Epstein settled for $500,000.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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