A 2009 settlement agreement between late financier Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre has been made public as part of Ms Giuffre’s civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew, who has said the deal shields him from any liability.
The agreement between Epstein and Ms Giuffre contains a liability release for “any other person or entity” who could have been a defendant against claims by Ms Giuffre, the filing in federal court in Manhattan shows.
The deal also provided for Ms Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, to be paid $US500,000 ($692,713).
It will now be up to US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in New York to determine whether the clause in the 2009 pact blocks Giuffre’s lawsuit against Andrew.
The litigation is in its early stages, and Mr Kaplan has said it could go to trial between September and December of 2022 if no settlement is reached.
A hearing over Prince Andrew’s motion to dismiss the civil lawsuit is scheduled for Tuesday.
Ms Giuffre in May 2009 sued Epstein, alleging he sexually assaulted her in 1998 when she was 15.
She also said that she was “required to be sexually exploited by (Epstein’s) adult male peers, including royalty, politicians, academicians” and others.
The lawsuit was dismissed in December 2009.
Prince Andrew argued in a 2021 court filing the settlement agreement shielded him from liability because he fell into the category of “royalty”.
Prince Andrew said the settlement was intended to protect “any and all persons who Giuffre identified as potential targets of future lawsuits”.
The agreement released on Monday in federal court in Manhattan said “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant from all, and all manner of, action and actions of Virginia Roberts” was released from liability.
Prince Andrew’s lawyers on Monday declined to comment on the filing.
David Boies, an attorney for Ms Giuffre, called the liability release “irrelevant” to his client’s claim against Prince Andrew.
“The release does not mention Prince Andrew. He did not even know about it,” Mr Boies said in a statement.
“The reason we sought to have the release made public was to refute the claims being made about it by Prince Andrew’s PR campaign.”
Ms Giuffre said in her lawsuit against Prince Andrew that he forced her to have sex at the London home of former Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell and at two of Epstein’s homes.
Prince Andrew, 61, has moved to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing Ms Giuffre is seeking a “payday” from her accusations against Epstein and his associates.
The prince has not been accused of criminal wrongdoing.
Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell in 2019 at the age of 66 while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges.
Prince Andrew gave up many royal duties in November 2019, saying his association with Epstein had become a “disruption to my family’s work”.
Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit is separate from the criminal trial against Maxwell that concluded last week.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted of recruiting and grooming girls for Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004.
Ms Giuffre’s claims did not form the basis of any of the charges Maxwell faced and she did not testify for either side during the three-week criminal trial.