Feb 15, 2022
Prince Andrew has settled a sexual assault civil lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre, according to court documents and reports from multiple media outlets. David Boies, Giuffre’s attorney, wrote that he had reached a “settlement in principle” Tuesday with Prince Andrew’s lawyers in a letter to U.S. Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan. Giuffre had alleged that the Duke of York, 61, sexually assaulted her on three occasions when she was 17. Prince Andrew has repeatedly denied the claims.
CNN reported that Giuffre’s and Prince Andrew’s respective legal teams anticipate filing a stipulation of dismissal of the case within 30 days, according to the letter addressed to the judge. Said letter reportedly indicated that the sum of the settlement will not be 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,” the letter states.
Following the sexual assault allegations, the Duke of York’s military roles and royal patronages were stripped by Queen Elizabeth in January. The Guardian reported that Prince Andrew, who was born His Royal Highness, would no longer be able to use the HRH royal style in any official capacity, per Buckingham Palace. Prince Andrew’s confirmed relationship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was a “fall from grace,” according to the report from The Guardian. The Duke of York was second-in-line to the throne.
“It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years,” the aforementioned letter continues, according to CNN. “Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others. He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.”
Giuffre’s lawsuit alleged that Epstein trafficked her and forced her to have sex with many of his friends, including Prince Andrew. The suit further alleged that Prince Andrew was aware Giuffre was underage in the United States at the time of the sexual assaults.
According to the lawsuit, Prince Andrew sexually abused Giuffre at various properties owned by Epstein, including:
“Prince Andrew denies that he was a co-conspirator of Epstein or that Epstein trafficked girls to him,” his attorneys, Andrew B. Brettler and Melissa Y. Lerner, wrote in a legal filing last month, according to CNN.
Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 to New York state prostitution charges and was indicted in July 2019 on federal sex trafficking charges. Prosecutors accused him of a “decades-long scheme of sexual abuse of underage girls,” according to a CNN report. Epstein died by suicide while in prison before he could face trial.
Furthermore, the civil lawsuit alleged that Prince Andrew sexually assaulted Giuffre at the London home of Epstein’s former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell.
In December 2021, Maxwell was convicted of luring teenage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein. During the monthlong trial, four women described being abused by Epstein and his friends in the 1990s and 2000s during testimony. The Associated Press (AP) reported that some of the girls were as young as 14 at the time of the abuse, with incidents occurring in Florida, New York, and New Mexico.
Maxwell faces maximum prison terms of five to 40 years for each of the five guilty counts, which included sex trafficking a minor and conspiracy.
In January, Judge Kaplan denied Prince Andrew’s motion to dismiss Giuffre’s civil lawsuit. He had been scheduled to give a statement under oath on March 10, according to a CNN source, but the settlement agreement was announced earlier today.
Giuffre filed her lawsuit in accordance with New York’s Child Victim’s Act, a revival window law enacted in 2019 that is similar to California’s AB 218. Under New York’s Child Victim’s Act, the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases is extended, allowing survivors to file civil claims until age 55. New York survivors may also pursue criminal felony charges against sex offenders until they turn 28.
California AB 218, which took effect in 2020, allows all survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file civil claims until December 31, 2022, through the bill’s three-year lookback window clause. The legislation also increases the deadline for survivors filing childhood sexual abuse claims to age 40, and includes a treble damages clause which gives the courts the latitude to award triple settlements or verdicts in cases involving cover-ups. Under the AB 218 treble damages clause, a $1 million settlement or verdict could theoretically be increased to $3 million by the courts in cases where cover-ups are proven.
California sexual assault civil lawsuits are typically brought in an effort to recover financial compensation for survivors. Depending on the circumstances of an incident, various types of damages may be pursued and recovered through a civil claim.
Examples of some common damages that may be secured through a sexual assault or abuse civil claim include:
Adult survivors of sexual assault and abuse are able to file civil claims up to 10 years after an incident according to the California statute of limitations on sex crimes. Moreover, the statute of limitations allows for civil claims to be brought in sexual assaults that lead to the discovery of a psychological injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For such cases, survivors have a three-year window to file claims upon discovery of an injury.
California Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218) is a law passed in 2019 which took effect as of January 1, 2020. Under AB 218, any California survivor of childhood sexual abuse is able to file a civil claim against a perpetrator (whether an individual or institution) seeking financial compensation until December 31, 2022. AB 218’s three-year lookback window temporarily pauses the statute of limitations on childhood sexual abuse civil claims.
On January 1, 2023, however, the standard statute of limitations resumes, and survivors who have not filed claims – particularly those over age 40 or harmed several years ago – may be left without legal recourse.
For additional information on California AB 218, please visit our in-depth blog.
To speak with an experienced sexual assault lawyer from Dordulian Law Group (DLG), contact us directly for a free, confidential, and no obligation consultation at 818-322-4056. DLG’s sex crime lawyers will fight to obtain justice for your case. Our sexual assault lawyers offer survivors added advantages:
DLG’s unique SAJE Team (Sexual Assault Justice experts) offers survivors access to a four-tiered team of proven professionals that is here to help you through the litigation process. Our team is dedicated to working tirelessly to develop a wining legal strategy for your sexual assault civil claim. We will fight to recover you the maximum financial damages award you deserve.
Some of our recent sexual assault civil lawsuit victories include:
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.