US Judge to hear arguments over motion to dismiss Prince Andrew sexual assault case

The judge could decide to dismiss the case due to a 2009 settlement between Prince Andrew’s accuser and Jeffrey Epstein which has recently been made public

A judge in the United States is set to hear arguments over a motion to dismiss the civil sex assault case being brought against Prince Andrew.

Virginia Giuffre says the Duke of York sexually assaulted her as a teenager, but Prince Andrew has denied all allegations.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

At a glance: 5 key points

  • Judge Lewis Kaplan will hold a videoconference today where Prince Andrew’s legal representative’s will try to argue that the case against the Duke of York should be dismissed
  • They will argue that, because of a $500,000 settlement reached between Giuffre and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2009, which was made public yesterday (3 January)
  • The payout agreement states that Giuffre agreed to “release, acquit, satisfy, and forever discharge” Epstein and “any other person or entity who could have been included as a potential defendant”
  • Prince Andrew’s legal team say this agreement, which related to a Florida state case in which the duke was not involved, means the civil case brought against the Duke should be dismissed 
  • Ms Giuffre claims she was trafficked by disgraced financier Epstein to have sex with Andrew when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.
  • Ms Giuffre’s lawyer has said the previous settlement should have no bearing on the case brought by his client 

What’s been said?

Andrew B Brettler, who represents Andrew, has argued that Ms Giuffre had entered into a “settlement agreement” that would end her lawsuit.

He previously told a New York hearing the agreement “releases Prince Andrew and others from any purported liability arising from the claims Ms Giuffre asserted against Prince Andrew here”.

Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies believes the settlement is “irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew”.

In her 2009 claim against Epstein, Giuffre’s lawyers said: "In addition to being continually exploited to satisfy defendant’s [Epstein] every sexual whim, [Ms Giuffre] was also required to be sexually exploited by defendant’s adult male peers, including royalty, politicians, academicians, businessmen and or other professional and personal acquaintances."