Duke of York's lawyers get document that could end civil lawsuit

A US judge has agreed to allow the Duke of York’s lawyers to receive a copy of a 2009 settlement they believe will overturn civil sexual assault proceedings against the king.

Andrew B. Brettler, who represents Prince Andrew, argued at an earlier hearing that Virginia Giuffre, who is suing the Queen’s son for alleged sexual assault, had entered into a “settlement agreement” that would end her current lawsuit.

Judge Loretta Preska has told Ms. Giuffre’s attorney, David Boies, that he can provide Andrew’s legal team with the previously sealed document, but the attorney said he considered it “irrelevant to the Prince Andrew case.”

During the first pre-trial hearing of the case last month, the Duke’s attorney said, “There was a settlement agreement that the plaintiff entered into in a previous lawsuit that exempts the Duke and others from any possible liability.”

Mr Brettler was referring to the comparison between Ms. Giuffre and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein in 2009 in a Florida state case in which Prince Andrew was not involved.

Ms. Giuffre is suing the Queen’s son for allegedly sexually assaulting her as a teenager. She is demanding unspecified damages, but there is speculation that the sum could run into the millions.

She claims to have been sold by Epstein, the Duke’s former boyfriend, to have sex with the prince when she was 17 years old and a minor under US law.

Prince Andrew has always rigorously denied all allegations.

In a court document filed on Wednesday, Judge Preska agreed to Mr. Boies’ request for the document to be made available to Andrew’s Legal Department.

In a previous court document, Mr. Boies told Judge Preska about the document: “Although we believe the release is irrelevant to the case against Prince Andrew, service has now been accepted and the case will be decided. We believe that Prince Andrew’s lawyers have the right to review the release and, based on that, make any arguments they deem appropriate. “

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