Prince Andrew to face civil sexual abuse case after judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit

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  • Prince Andrew, Duke of York
    Prince Andrew, Duke of York
    Second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born 1960)
  • Jeffrey Epstein
    American financier
  • Virginia Giuffre
    Alleged victim of the underage sex trafficking ring operated by Jeffrey Epstein

British royal Prince Andrew is set to face a civil sexual abuse case in America after a judge refused to dismiss his accuser's lawsuit on Wednesday.

Virginia Giuffre filed a lawsuit against the Duke of York, the second son of British monarch Queen Elizabeth II, last year, alleging he raped and sexually abused her when she was 17. The 38-year-old claims she was trafficked by late billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender, to have sex with influential men, including the royal.

Prince Andrew's lawyers argued that the case should be dismissed as Giuffre signed a confidential settlement with Epstein in 2009 in which she agreed not to sue any other possible defendants.

However, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan rejected their motion and ruled that the case should continue, meaning it could be heard in court later this year. Kaplan rejected their claim that the case was "legally insufficient" and called the terms of Giuffre's 2009 settlement "ambiguous".

The royal has repeatedly denied the claims, most famously during an interview with BBC's Newsnight in late 2019. Buckingham Palace representatives declined to comment on the ongoing legal matter.

David Boies, Giuffre's lawyer, said in a statement that his client was "pleased" by the decision, and added, "She looks forward to a judicial determination of the merits of those claims."

Appearing on Newsnight on Wednesday, he stated, "A purely financial settlement is not anything that I think she's interested in... I think what's going to be important is that this resolution vindicates her and vindicates the claim she's made."

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