“At the heart of the settlement is the biggest question of all: why is a prince who told me he had ‘no recollection of ever meeting this lady’ now paying her what we understand to be upwards of £10 million?” said Ms Maitlis writing for the BBC’s website.
Meanwhile, The Queen has agreed to help Prince Andrew pay a settlement to Virginia Giuffre with a donation of £2m to her charity, it has been reported.
As the settlement in the civil sex abuse lawsuit was agreed in the US, the Queen said she would help Andrew as long as she was not connected to a personal payment to Ms Giuffre, according to The Daily Mirror.
Parliament intends to discuss exactly where the money will come from and make sure that public money is not used.
The Duke of York has reportedly agreed not to repeat his denial that he raped Ms Giuffre under the terms of a confidential settlement. He has also reached a multi-million-pound deal with Ms Giuffre to stop her civil lawsuit against him going to trial.
York MP calls for Prince Andrew to give up his dukedom
Labour’s Rachael Maskell, who represents York Central, repeated a call made last month, saying Prince Andrew should give up his association with the city out of respect.
She said: “To demonstrate his seriousness in this endeavour, and his respect for those affected by abuse and the people of our city, I would ask that his first act of contrition is to confirm his support for the withdrawal of his ducal title.”
Although the parties have settled the case, the agreement is not an admission of guilt from the duke and he has always strenuously denied the allegations against him.
Prince Andrew’s losses ‘can never compare to those of trafficking victims’, Epstein accuser says
While Prince Andrew has been “publicly disgraced”, he will “still have a better life than anyone could dream of”, an accuser of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell has said.
“Whatever he lost as a result of this can never compare to what the victims of Epstein, Maxwell and the men that we were trafficked to have lost from our lives,” Liz Stein told BBC Breakfast.
The duke strongly denies the claims made against him by Virginia Giuffre in the US case settled this week.
Defence secretary discusses question of Prince Andrew’s military titles
The decision over Prince Andrew’s titles “rests obviously with the Palace in the future”, defence secretary Ben Wallace has said.
Asked if the Duke of York should be allowed to represent regiments, he told Sky News: “Well I don’t think he represents any of them at the moment, I think the Palace took a decision that those titles were to be removed from him, so I think he is effectively acting now as a private citizen in so far as both addressing the challenges and the allegations.
“There’s been a, obviously, a payment and I think that is where he currently remains, that the decision on titles rests obviously with the Palace in the future, but I think it’s been pretty clear that this settlement is a recognition that he wants to bring this to a close and also recognise as his statement says the suffering and the challenges that the victims have been through as a result of their allegations and their stand against the exploitation by Epstein.”
Public ‘will just have to decide who they believe’, US lawyer says
Gloria Allred, a US lawyer who represented several of Jeffrey Epstein's victims, said Prince Andrew's settlement with Virginia Giuffre now means that, without a jury trial, the public “will just have to decide who they believe”.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, Ms Allred said: “This case will be dismissed, then each will go their own way and he will never end up testifying under oath, at least not this case, and the public will just have to decide who they believe.”
She added: “Lawsuits are war but a settlement means that both sides are seeking peace, and that's what happened here. There will be peace now but this case will be remembered for many, many years to come.”
Suggesting that the “ship has sailed” now for Ms Giuffre to say any more about the duke – who has strongly denied her accusations – Ms Allred told Times Radio: “Are we now going to ever know the truth of what Prince Andrew did or did not do?
“I assume that people are probably going to believe whatever they believed before this settlement, and before they heard any testimony under oath because there's been none so far. At least in this case. The people will draw their own conclusions in the court of public opinion, but it's not going to happen in a court of law.”
Labour MP pours more cold water on Prince Andrew advocacy work suggestions
Yesterday, BBC royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell suggested the “only route back” to a public role for the duke could be to support sex trafficking victims, but questioned whether any charities or regiments “would want to be associated with him after all of this, for all that there’s no admission of liability”.
Labour MP Jess Phillips, who works with victims of sex trafficking, has also said that she cannot see how he would be welcome in such a role after the settlement with Virginia Giuffre.
In the statement on the settlement, Prince Andrew pledged “to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims”.
Opinion | Prince Andrew’s post-settlement statement is very different to what he said before
Writing for Independent Voices, Kathleen N Walsh argues that Prince Andrew’s new statement “appears at odds with the accusations his lawyers lobbied at Virginia Giuffre before the motion to dismiss was denied”.
“Back then, they accused Giuffre of fabricating accusations for money. There was no sympathy for her position and no mention of other victims of sex trafficking or sexual abuse. ‘Giuffre has initiated this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to achieve another payday at his expense and at the expense of those closest to him,’ the statement read. ‘Epstein’s abuse of Giuffre does not justify her public campaign against Prince Andrew.’
“Is this reversal what justice looks like? It feels awfully hollow if so.”
Read her thinking in full here:
Back then, Giuffre was described as a money-grabber and a liar. These days, she’s a victim whose ‘pain’ is supposedly acknowledged by the disgraced royal
Here’s more of defence secretary Ben Wallace’s reaction this morning to Prince Andrew’s settlement with Virginia Giuffre.
Reports of £12m settlement sum ‘could be inflated’, royal commentator says
A royal commentator has suggested that reports claiming Prince Andrew faces paying £12m in his settlement with Virginia Giuffre “could be inflated”.
“Previously the estimates were more like £5m, and it could be they’re including the legal fees of Virginia’s legal team, who might be working pro bono,” David McClure told LBC.
“Secondly, we don’t know for certain that the Queen will be picking up all of the bill. Obviously if it is very high – if it is over £5m – I don’t think Andrew has the money of his own wealth to pay it. So, more than likely, the Queen would in those circumstances give him money.”
He suggested that “there is a precedent for” the Queen “coming to the aid of one of her sons who are in financial difficulties”, citing claims made by The Telegraph and in a 2007 biography that the Queen lent Prince Charles an unknown sum of money to pay for his divorce settlement with Princess Diana.
Prince Andrew ‘should confirm settlement not being paid with public money’, lawyer says
The royal family must make clear that the Duke of York’s settlement with Virginia Giuffre is not being paid with public money, a top lawyer has said.
Mark Stephens, media specialist at law firm Howard Kennedy, told BBC Breakfast: “The money is being used in three ways. The first part is to pay compensation to Virginia Giuffre. The second is to pay off her lawyers’ expenses and such like.
“And the third is, of course, that she’s leveraged his profile and there's a large sum going to her personal charity to fight for the victims of sex trafficking and sexual abuse.
“Now that is a publicly traded charity – as I suspect it will have to be to get the benefits of the tax advantages – so we will see how much is paid in that account. That, I think, will give the public a clue.
“But I suspect that long before that is in the public domain, Andrew is going to have to confirm that the public hasn't paid this, because that threatens to have wider implications for the royal family.”
Lawyer for Epstein’s accusers hails settlement as ‘victory’
Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing a number of Epstein’s victims, has said she and her clients “salute Virginia’s stunning courage”, hailing the settlement as a “victory”.
However, Lady Victoria Hervey, who socialised with Prince Andrew in the early 2000s, said she believes the “storyline was crumbling” in reference to Virginia Giuffre’s allegations.
The socialite said: “I hope the royal family can now focus on the upcoming jubilee celebrations and Prince Andrew can put these false allegations behind him.”
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