Prince Andrew will have access to the sealed agreement his accuser Virginia Giuffre signed with Jeffrey Epstein, a US judge has ruled.
Ms Giuffre is suing the Queen’s son claiming she was trafficked by Epstein, Andrew’s former friend, to have sex with him when she was aged 17 and a minor under US law.
In a previous legal hearing, the Duke of York’s Hollywood lawyer Andrew B Brettler said she had previously entered a ‘settlement agreement’ with the convicted sex offender in 2009 that would end her case.
During the first pre-trial hearing of the case last month, Mr Brettler said: ‘There has been a settlement agreement that the plaintiff has entered into in a prior action that releases the duke and others from any and all potential liability.’
Ms Giuffre’s attorney David Boies was granted permission by Judge Loretta Preska to supply Andrew’s legal team with the previously sealed document.
He said he believes it is ‘irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew’.
In a previous court paper, Mr Boies said to Judge Preska about the document: ‘Although we believe that the release is irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew, now that service has been accepted and the case is proceeding to a determination on the merits, we believe that counsel for Prince Andrew have a right to review the release and to make whatever arguments they believe appropriate based on it.’
Ms Giuffre is seeking unspecified damages, but there is speculation the sum could be in the millions of dollars.
Andrew has stepped back from public duties amid the fallout from his relationship with Epstein.
It came after a 2019 Newsnight interview which saw him attempt to draw a line under his relationship with Epstein, who died in prison two years ago, but it ended up being dubbed a ‘car crash’.
During the programme he denied claims that he slept with Ms Giuffre on three separate occasions, saying: ‘I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened.
‘I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.’
Andrew acknowledged being served with the lawsuit last month and has until October 29 to provide a response.
A further legal conference has been set for November 3.