How Prince Andrew's Jeffrey Epstein Case Could Be Affected by Key New Document

Prince Andrew is to be shown a settlement agreement between his accuser and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein that the royal's lawyers say renders the case "baseless."

The Duke of York is being sued by Virginia Giuffre for allegedly raping her when she was 17 years old in London, New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which he denies.

However, Andrew B. Brettler, his lawyer, argues she signed an agreement when she settled a civil case against Epstein that could sink the case.

Now Judge Loretta Preska has authorized the release of the filing, due to land on the attorney's desk any time now.

However, Georges Lederman, white collar defense attorney at international law firm Withers, told Newsweek the legal context may be slightly more complicated.

He said: "Ms. Giuffre may have entered into an agreement with Epstein in which she agreed not to bring legal proceedings against him—and perhaps others—but that agreement not to sue him or them, would only bind the parties to that agreement, i.e. Giuffre and Epstein, and now his estate.

"So while Epstein's estate might have an action to sue for breach of the contract, for example over a non-disclosure clause inevitably included within it, as a non-party to that agreement Andrew has no legal standing to enforce it."

Even if Prince Andrew finds a way to enforce the agreement, it may still offer little help restoring his own reputation.

Amber Melville-Brown, global head of media and reputation at Withers, told Newsweek: "Those in his camp will argue that the agreement was put in place precisely to protect innocent third parties such as the Prince from being subjected to false accusations of this nature.

"And once it is disclosed, and dependent on its terms, they may use it to attack Giuffre's credibility, arguing that she settled a claim on favorable terms then, only to reopen Pandora's box now for her own ends.

"But while it is certainly the case that people enter into all sorts of confidential agreements for reasons other than that they are hiding wrongdoing, detractors on the other side of the argument may allege that there is 'no smoke without fire,' or rather 'no confidential agreement without wrongdoing.'

"Consequently, the Prince may be left with reputational question marks hanging over his head for some time to come."

Prince Andrew in Year of Epstein Scandal
Prince Andrew attends the English National Ballet's summer party at The Orangery, in London, on June 29, 2011, the same year the scandal over his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein first broke. He is being sued in New York by Virginia Giuffre. Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Among the evidence is a photograph of Prince Andrew with his arm around her waist alongside Epstein's former lover Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently awaiting trial on trafficking charges which she denies.

Giuffre says Epstein took the photo on her camera in Maxwell's London townhouse after she was allegedly trafficked aged 17 to be lent out to the prince for sex.

She is suing for emotional distress and battery, saying she feared for her physical safety if she refused to give Queen Elizabeth II's son what he wanted.

In a September 13 hearing, Brettler told the court in New York: "We believe, however, that this is a baseless, non-viable, and potentially unlawful lawsuit.

"There has been a settlement agreement that the plaintiff has entered into on a prior action that releases the Duke and others from any and all potential liability."

David Boies, Giuffre's attorney, requested the document, relating to a case she settled with Epstein in 2009, be released by Judge Loretta Preska.

The lawyer previously told The Sun he believed the agreement was "irrelevant," although his client did withdraw similar allegations against Alan Dershowitz after said agreement was entered into evidence in a case against him.

A court filing from that case, seen by Newsweek, read: "Plaintiff [Giuffre] has decided to voluntarily dismiss her battery claim."

Alan Dershowitz had previously requested the document be unsealed on Andrew's behalf.

A letter from his attorney, Howard M. Cooper, to Judge Preska read: "Ms. Giuffre's 2009 lawsuit against Epstein included an express allegation that she had been sexually trafficked to royalty, an allegation which she later admitted referred to HRH Prince Andrew, Duke of York. As a result, there is no doubt that Ms. Giuffre was aware of her alleged claims against Prince Andrew before she agreed to the Release (assuming her claims have any actual basis in fact)."

On Wednesday, Brettler told Sky News: "Earlier today, Judge Preska ordered that the agreement can be disclosed to me, as Prince Andrew's attorney.

"I haven't received the agreement yet, but anticipate that Mr. Boies will provide it to me shortly."

Prince Andrew Hugs Virginia Giuffre
Prince Andrew puts his arm around Virginia Giuffre, then 17, alongside Ghislaine Maxwell in a photo said to have been taken by Jeffrey Epstein at Maxwell's London townhouse. It is included in evidence at the court in New York where Giuffre is suing Andrew. Virginia Giuffre

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