It’s hard to find a guy with less class than Prince Andrew, who allegedly raped a 17-year old American girl several times in 2001 while he was in his 40s.
When the girl, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, now 38, made public accusations against Andrew in 2015, he denied them. He claimed he couldn’t remember even meeting her, though a photo showed him with his arm around her bare midriff.
After Giuffre filed a civil lawsuit, Andrew, now 61, claimed he could not be held liable because pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, who allegedly trafficked Giuffre to Andrew, had entered a settlement with Giuffre in 2009. Although he wasn’t a party to the settlement, Andrew argued that it absolved “other potential defendants” like him. The judge disagreed and set a civil trial date.
Meanwhile, the royals began sweating that Andrew’s difficulties would cast a shadow on the upcoming Platinum Jubilee commemorating his mother, Queen Elizabeth’s, 70 years on the throne in June.
Reuters announced Tuesday that Andrew and Giuffre have reached a settlement in principle. The amount of the settlement was not disclosed but the New York Post reports it was $12 million. The settlement must be approved by the court.
It remains to be seen where the money will come from to pay the settlement, and whether public funds will be used.
There is no indication whether additional future prosecutions will occur with respect to Epstein, who sexually abused young girls for decades. Epstein allegedly committed suicide in the Manhattan Jail in New York in 2019 while awaiting a criminal trial.
In addition to Prince Andrew, former Democratic President Bill Clinton is widely associated with Epstein. Clinton reportedly took four trips on Epstein’s airplane, dubbed Lolita Express, in 2002 and 2003, and a former White House intern claimed Clinton visited Epstein’s private Caribbean island, dubbed Paedophile Island, in 2003. The Daily Mail says it obtained visitor logs showing that Epstein visited the White House at least 17 times during Clinton’s first term, between 1993 and 1995.
Prince Andrew’s ex-girlfriend, Lady Victoria Hervey, claimed in a documentary that Epstein and Clinton were “like brothers” and “loved” being around the Prince Andrew. She said there was a painting of Clinton in Epstein’s mansion wearing a dress like the one that White House intern Monica Lewinsky wore when they had an affair during his presidency.
Clinton in 2019 issued a statement saying he knew nothing of Epstein’s “terrible crimes” until Epstein’s earlier arrest in Florida in 2006. The statement said Clinton said he had never been to Epstein’s island.
In an unsigned letter submitted Tuesday as an attachment to the settlement filing, Andrew pledged to “demonstrate his regret for his association” with Epstein by “fighting the evils of sex trafficking” and making a substantial donation to Giuffre’s charity in support of victim’s rights.
The statement says Andrew never intended to malign Giuffre, whom he now accepts as having suffered as an “established victim” of sex abuse and “unfair public attacks.”
“It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years. Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others,” the statement concludes.
The case is Giuffre v. Prince Andrew, No. 21-cv-06702-LAK.
Another Epstein acquaintance, Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted last year of recruiting and grooming teenage girls for sexual encounters with Epstein between 1994 and 2004.