Embarrassed Prince Andrew agreed last night with Virginia Geffery to pay up to £ 12 million to settle his sexual abuse case.
The Duke, 61, after 72 hours of secret talks, agreed to avoid casting a shadow over the Queen’s jubilee celebrations.
In a statement, he praised the “bravery” of his accuser. Senior sources said Andrew, who was deprived of his speech by his mother last month, would never return to the family frontline.
Prince Andrew had signed a megabucks deal with accusing Virginia Geffery a few weeks before he was to be questioned at the swearing-in ceremony.
Ms. Geoffrey is said to be “very, very happy” with the unprecedented settlement.
Experts say the amount is secret but could reach 12 million. He will receive personal compensation and there is no non-disclosure agreement that will stop him from telling his story.
Details of the settlement were revealed in a letter filed with the U.S. District Court in New York yesterday.
In an unusual statement, the Duke of York, 61, expressed his “regret” over his relationship with pedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Most read in the Scottish Sun.
‘Helping the victims’
And he vowed to “demonstrate his remorse” by “supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking, and by supporting its victims.”
In return, Ms. Geffery, who said Andrew raped her when she was 17, agreed to drop the case.
Duke, who allegedly refused to break a sweat while dancing with her in 2001, has pleaded not guilty in court. Despite the agreement, Andrew is not entirely clear, and US police still want to question Epstein over his crimes.
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Senior royal sources said he would never return to the royal family’s front line.
Andrew had only 22 days before the March 10 interrogation by Ms. Geffery’s lawyers.
She is thought to have survived an earlier attempt to oust him following Mr Jiang’s intervention. The scandal also threatened to overwhelm her mother’s Platinum Jubilee.
Sources close to the queen said her decision to remove the HRH title was “relevant”. The settlement came after 72 hours of talks over the weekend.
“It was two or three long days, mainly Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Virginia was very happy with the settlement,” said David Boyce, Geoffrey’s lawyer.
“It’s over, we have a financial settlement and a charitable partnership and we have a statement and a confession. If the people of the UK want to know where the money came from, they can get it from Andrew.”
Asked if there had been a rigorous negotiation on Andrew’s confession, which is not in the statement, Mr Boyce said: “I can’t go into it but I think the statement speaks for itself.
Ms. Giuffre, now 38, lives in Perth, Australia.
His father, Sky Roberts, said of Andrew last night: “I knew he was going to get out of court. It was a complete bluff.
It’s over, we have the financial settlement and the charitable partnership and we have the statement and the acknowledgment.
Ms. Geffery’s lawyer, David Boys
“I think Virginia will be happy.”
Lisa Bloom, who works for Epstein’s eight victims, said: “We welcome the victory of Virginia today. We salute the wonderful courage of Virginia.
Buckingham Palace yesterday refused to say whether the Maharaja had funded any part of the deal.
Andrew’s spokesman also declined to comment on how he was paid.
A statement from the two sides stated: “Virginia Geffery and Prince Andrew have reached an out-of-court settlement.
“The parties will file a deferred dismissal upon receipt of Ms. Giffy’s settlement (the amount of which is not disclosed).
“Prince Andrew never intended to discredit Ms Geffrey’s character, and she admits that she has been a victim of both abuse as a proven victim and as a result of unjust public attacks. Jeffrey Epstein has trafficked countless girls over the years.
Prince Andrew regrets his commitment to Epstein, and appreciates the bravery of Ms. Geffery and other survivors in standing up for herself and others. Pledges to express its condolences to Epstein for his support of the victims. “
The statement added that Andrew would “make a significant donation to Ms. Giffery’s charity in support of the victims’ rights.” Sources said the Duke’s agreement came in the wake of the US Justice Department’s (DOJ) Epstein investigation. In June 2020, the DOJ applied to the Home Office for Mutual Legal Aid (MLA) to speak with Andrew.
The MLA’s request is considered open and has not been formally denied by UK authorities.
A source said: “Any response that Andrew may have submitted to Geoffrey’s lawyers could expose him further. The last thing he wants is for the DOJ to investigate further. Be encouraged
Ms. Geffery’s lawsuit, filed in a New York court six months ago, alleges that Andrew sexually assaulted her when she was just 17 years old.
It claimed responsibility for the attack on Epstein’s Manhattan mansion and its private Caribbean island of Little St. James.
‘Powerful contacts, wealth and authority’
She also alleges that Epstein and her boyfriend, Ghuslein Maxwell, forced her to have sex with Andrew at Ghusleen’s London home.
Ms Geffrey’s lawyers said she was intimidated by the “powerful connections, wealth and authority” of the three.
Maxwell, 60, was convicted in December of five of six federal charges, including sex trafficking of a minor.
He is due to be sentenced in June and could face up to 65 years in prison if his appeal fails.
Epstein, 66, was found dead in a 2019 Manhattan prison cell. He was facing charges of sex trafficking at the time.
Royal writer Nigel Couthorn said: “It is strange that they will not confirm who is paying. This is a question that needs to be answered. Taxpayers deserve to know.
Mark Stephens, a media specialist at law firm Howard Kennedy, said Andrew would probably use the proceeds from the sale of his ٹ 17 million chelate in Verbier, Switzerland.
Mr Stephens said: “This was a must have, for any Affiliate, promoting any program.
“Andrew has thrown himself on the court grenade and avoided the spectacle of what he did or did not do. He is never going to recover. But it does prevent harm to the family.” “
It is strange that they will not confirm who is paying. This is a question that needs to be answered. Taxpayers deserve to know.
Royal author Nigel Couthorn
Charles and William took steps to oust Andrew over Christmas, before the Queen withdrew her title last month.
Majesty Magazine’s Ingrid Seward said of the settlement: “It’s the only way out. But for Andrew, it’s the end.
“I don’t see him as a campaigner for victims of sexual exploitation. He should go completely to the ground.
Spencer Cowan, Epstein’s victim lawyer, said: “The possibility of a statement may have sharpened his brain.
“It will have to be decided at some point because the discovery will only be a final embarrassment for him and the Crown Prince.”
Asked about the joint statement, Mr Cowan added: “After all, money speaks louder than words.”
The royal story of the commotion
1999: Prince Andrew was introduced by Gusselin Maxwell to billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein and Maxwell were shown at Balmoral in photo evidence from Maxwell’s December 2021 trial.
2000: Epstein, Maxwell and Andrew appeared at Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Florida Club. Epstein and Maxwell have been invited to Windsor for the Queen’s birthday party.
2001: Virginia Geffrey, then Virginia Roberts, and 17-year-old, claim that Andrew sexually assaulted her at Maxwell’s home in Belgravia, central London. He also claimed that Andrew had twice attacked him at Epstein’s home in Manhattan and Little St. James. Andrew has denied all the attacks.
2008: Epstein has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for prostitution.
2010: Epstein is seen walking with Andrew in New York’s Central Park after his release from prison.
2011: Due to his relationship with Andrew Epstein, he resigned from the role of British Trade Envoy. Ex-wife Sarah Ferguson has admitted that Epstein paid her to help pay off her debts.
2015: A lawsuit filed in Florida alleges that Andrew forced Ms. Geffery to have sex with him when she was 17 – under the legal age of state consent.
August 2019: Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan prison cell while awaiting a sex trafficking trial.
November 2019: Andrew is interviewing for a car accident on the BBC’s Newsnight. It provoked a strong reaction and forced him to step down from public office.
June 2020: The Sun has revealed that the US Department of Justice has filed a petition with the Home Office to question Andrew as part of a criminal investigation into Epstein’s crimes.
August 2021: Ms. Geffery’s lawyers presented court papers to police outside Andrew’s Royal Lodge in Windsor, which led to her civil proceedings.
December 2021: Gusselin Maxwell was convicted of sex trafficking in New York.
January 2022: Andrew lost an attempt to dismiss Ms. Geffery’s case. The queen snatched military honors from him.
February 2022: Andrew settled the matter with Ms. Geffery.