Judge asked to end Prince Andrew suit

By Larry Neumeister
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK (AP) — Lawyers for Prince Andrew and an American woman who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was 17 formally asked a judge Tuesday to dismiss her lawsuit.

The lawyers sent a document to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan that would dismiss the August lawsuit once he signs it. The judge had given both sides until March 17 to complete the deal or he would set a trial date.

The lawyers revealed three weeks ago that they had tentatively agreed to a settlement in which the prince would make a substantial donation to Virginia Guiffre’s charity and declare that he never meant to malign her character.

Andrew strenuously denied Giuffre’s allegations after she sued him, accusing the British royal of sexually abusing her while she traveled with financier Jeffrey Epstein in 2001.

Giuffre, 38, reached the settlement with Andrew after the judge rejected the prince’s bid to win early dismissal of the lawsuit earlier this year.

In a letter to the judge last month from Giuffre attorney David Boies, a statement was included that said, in part: “Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights. Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.”

According to the statement, Prince Andrew acknowledged that Epstein trafficked “countless young girls” over many years and said the prince “regrets his association with Epstein, and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others.”

He also pledged to support the victims of sex trafficking as part of demonstrating his regret.

The AP does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they choose to come forward publicly, as Giuffre has done.

The settlement stopped the lawsuit before the start of evidence gathering, including depositions that would have forced Andrew to answer questions posed by attorneys.

Andrew — who had already stepped back from royal duties — was recently stripped of his honorary military titles and roles and leadership of various charities, known as royal patronages. He also can no longer use the title “his royal highness” in official settings.