Prince Andrew‘s sex abuse accuser Virginia Giuffre could return to the public eye next month as her gagging clause is lifted.
Ms Giuffre, who now lives in Australia, had alleged that she was forced to have sex with the Duke three times when she was 17 under the orders of the late paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
She launched her legal action against Andrew in August 2021, seeking unspecified damages for battery, including rape, and the infliction of emotional distress.
It was settled outside of court on February 15, 2022, for a reported £12 million, with £2 million thought to have been donated to her sex trafficking charity. The Duke did not admit wrongdoing and has consistently and vehemently denied the claims.
Last year the Duke of York and Ms Giuffre signed a one-year agreement that meant neither party could discuss the case or financial settlement made
Ms Giuffre, who now lives in Australia, could return to the public eye next month as her gagging clause is lifted
Full statement from both parties in Andrew’s case
Here is the full text of the statement regarding the out of court settlement reached between the Duke of York and Virginia Giuffre. The statement was included in a letter submitted to US judge Lewis A Kaplan:
‘Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew have reached an out of court settlement. The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms Giuffre’s receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed). 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. 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.’
As part of the settlement last year the Duke of York and Ms Giuffre signed a one-year agreement that meant neither party could discuss the case or financial settlement made.
With this clause lifting within weeks, Ms Giuffre, who is married with children, will likely be free to talk about convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s abuse.
This could include writing a book, or conducting printed or televised interviews with the media or writing a book.
The Duke settled the case with Ms Giuffre ahead of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee last year, after having been stripped of all military titles and patronages and ordered by Buckingham Palace not to use his HRH title in January. The Palace also ruled out a return to public duties.
The late Queen contributed to the reported $12 million settlement sum, with the gagging clause deemed critical in the agreement made.
At the time, some Palace aides criticised the length of silence agreed, with one friend to the Duke saying: ‘If you’re going to go for legal resolution at those sorts of prices then you want silence – but what we’ve got is silence for the Platinum Jubilee,’ The Telegraph reported.
The specific terms of the gagging clause have not been released. It will be lifted later next month.
It is thought that Ms Giuffre may be free to publicly address how she was sex trafficked by Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
She could have agreed to not repeat her allegations about Prince Andrew, or discuss him in relation to the criminal couple.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the clause being lifted soon.
It comes after King Charles reportedly threw Andrew out of the royal fold and told him he’s ‘on his own’ in the wake of the scandal surrounding his associations with the late paedophile financier Jeffery Epstein, a source claimed.
The Duke of York was told to no longer use Buckingham Palace as an office space, effectively severing his final tie to his old life as a working royal, according to a report in The Sun.
‘Any presence at the Palace is officially over,’ a source was quoted as saying. ‘The King has made it clear. He isn’t a working royal. He’s on his own.’
As part of the King’s decision, Andrew will not be able to use the address for any future correspondence. The skeleton staff which had been retained since he stepped down from public duty three years ago now reportedly face being put out of work.
It is thought that Ms Giuffre may be free to publicly address how she was sex trafficked by Epstein (pictured) and Ghislaine Maxwell
Up until this year, he’d kept 10 military affiliations, including colonel of the Grenadier Guards, while he worked to clear his name amid the scandal of his association with US paedophile Jeffery Epstein
As part of the King’s decision, Andrew, 62, will not be able to use the address for any future correspondence
The report came after Queen Consort Camilla was announced as the disgraced Duke’s replacement as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards in a shake-up of senior royal military positions.
Andrew inherited the position of colonel of the Grenadier Guards from his late father, the Duke of Edinburgh, when he retired from public life in 2017.
Following his disastrous BBC Newsnight interview in 2019, he was forced by the Queen to step down from official royal duties.
Up until this year, he’d kept 10 military affiliations, including colonel of the Grenadier Guards, while he worked to clear his name amid the scandal of his association with US paedophile Jeffery Epstein.
He was finally stripped of the ceremonial title earlier this year in the aftermath of his decision to settle a civil lawsuit with one of Epstein’s victims, Ms Giuffre, who had also accused him of assault. He has always strongly denied any wrongdoing.
Earlier this year, the Duke of York was left ‘bereft’ and ‘tearful’ when Charles told him, in no uncertain terms, that his days as a working royal were over.
At the time, a source told the Mail on Sunday ‘Andrew was totally blindsided’ and ‘utterly bereft. He always believed there was a way back’.
Andrew has denied being close to Epstein, who killed himself in jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges.
Epstein’s former girlfriend, Maxwell, is currently serving 20 years in a Florida jail after being found guilty last December on child sex trafficking and other charges.
His mother, the late Queen, reportedly failed to explicitly tell him there would be no way back to public life.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York and King Charles III leave after attending the vigil in memory of Queen Elizabeth II at St Giles Cathedral on September 12, 2022 in Edinburgh
As a result, he was slow to see what the remainder of his family – and the public – had recognised for months.
‘Until the face-to-face meeting with his brother, Andrew believed that there was a way back – that somehow he could be rehabilitated and play a role in The Firm going forward,’ the source said. ‘He came out of the meeting shaken. He is still in shock. He is completely lost and very depressed.’
In the meeting, Charles – who was not yet King – said: ‘Go off and have a good life, a nice life, but public life as a Royal is at an end… You have to accept this. ‘
As a working royal, Andrew was entitled to a taxpayer funded security detail made up of armed police officers who accompanied him on all visits outside of Windsor, Berkshire.
Now that there’s no way back, the Home Office has stripped Andrew of taxpayer funded security personnel, meaning any armed protection police will be replaced by private firms who are only allowed to carry tasers.
Former Home Office minister Norman Baker said last week: ‘Armed protection has always been a status symbol for the likes of Prince Andrew.
‘Of course he should pay it himself and not burden the taxpayer because he is a private individual and carries out no public duties.’