A JUDGE agreed to keep a legal agreement between Prince Andrew’s sex assault accuser and Jeffrey Epstein a secret yesterday – but admitted it might eventually be made public.
Lawyers for Virginia Roberts Giuffre had handed over a copy of a “release” signed in 2009 – following her legal settlement with sex trafficker Epstein.
Attorneys for Andrew, 61, have reviewed the document and look set to argue that it makes him exempt from any culpability in her bombshell sex assault claims against him.
Virginia’s lawyers have branded it “irrelevant”.
Andrew Brettler, one of Andrew’s lawyers, made a request to file the release in secret – which was granted yesterday by US District Judge Lewis Kaplan.
He said the agreement “releases Prince Andrew and others from any purported liability arising from the claims Ms Giuffre asserted against Prince Andrew here”.
But the judge hinted that the document may be made public in future.
He also added that Epstein’s estate did not argue for the settlement to remain sealed.
Virginia, 38, claims she was sex trafficked to powerful men around the world by Epstein, who killed himself in jail in 2019.
The 38-year-old is seeking unspecified damages after filing a civil lawsuit in August accusing the Duke of “rape in the first degree”.
She alleges the Duke of York sexually assaulted her three times when she was underage – in London, New York and on Epstein’s private island in the Caribbean.
Andrew vehemently denies the allegations and is to fight her legal claim.
It seems the lawsuit is set to go on well into the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year.
Following agreement by lawyers on both sides, the discovery – including testimony from expert witnesses – should be completed by July 14, 2022 and a pre-trial order finished by July 28, 2022.
The case has caused chaos for the royal family and could now overshadow the Queen’s celebration of 70 years on the throne.
An extensive programme of public events will mix traditional pageantry with cutting edge technological displays.
Details of these events will be unveiled in the coming months.
Members of the Royal Family will appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony, while there will also be a fly past in Her Majesty’s honour.