Prince Andrew offers ‘regrets’ but no apology in settlement with accuser Virginia Giuffre

Duke of York ‘regrets his association with Jeffrey Epstein’, statement says

Tom Batchelor
Tuesday 15 February 2022 18:36 GMT
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre reach out-of-court settlement in sexual abuse lawsuit

Prince Andrew’s settlement with his accuser Virginia Giuffre in a civil sex claim filed in the US includes no apology or admission of guilt but the Duke of York does express “regret” for his “association” with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

In a letter submitted to the United States District Court on Tuesday, Ms Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies wrote jointly with Andrew’s lawyers to say that the parties had “reached a settlement in principle”.

Court documents show the Duke will make a “substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights”.

The statement said the prince “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”.

It continued: “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.

“He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.” 

Ms Giuffre, also known as Virginia Roberts, claimed she was trafficked by Epstein, Andrew’s friend, to have sex with the royal when she was 17, a minor under US law.

Andrew has always denied the allegations. Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents eight victims of Epstein, described the settlement as a “victory” for Ms Giuffre.

“She has accomplished what no one else could: getting Prince Andrew to stop his nonsense and side with sexual abuse victims. We salute Virginia’s stunning courage,” she said.

Commenting on the wording of the statement, Penny Junor, a royal expert, said “at last he’s [Andrew] expressing some regret and some empathy for those girls”. 

She added: “He’s got it right now, it took him a long time to get there, but I think he’s got it right.”

Joe Little, of Majesty magazine, told the PA news agency the duke would ”forever be tainted by this scandal” regardless of the settlement. 

“I’m sure that they’re glad this [agreement] has happened, but does it exonerate the prince who really has not been charged with anything criminal?

“He will, I think, forever be tainted by this scandal, for want of a better way of describing it.”

Representatives of the duke have said they will not be commenting further than what was said in the documents submitted to the court.

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