Prince Andrew's legal team will have access to a previously undisclosed settlement, which his lawyers think would protect him from a sex abuse case in the United States.
The Duke of York's attorneys were permitted to acquire a copy of a private agreement between the late billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre by a US District Judge yesterday.
Giuffre, 38, sues Prince Andrew in the United States, accusing him of sexually abusing her two decades ago. The 61-year-old monarch, who is not facing any criminal charges, vehemently refuted Giuffre's allegations.
In 2009, Giuffre, who has also accused Epstein of sexual assault, settled with the financier as part of a Florida state lawsuit in which the duke was not a party.
Prince Andrew had prolonged stay at Balmoral
The agreement she struck with Epstein, who died in his jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, has been a well-guarded secret. The estate of Epstein consented to allow Prince Andrew's legal team to review the legal document, but judicial clearance was required, as per Daily Mail.
District Judge Loretta Preska gave the clearance at a hearing held Monday in Manhattan. Andrew Brettler, a lawyer representing the prince, told the court supervising Giuffre's case at a hearing last month that he felt the agreement absolved our client of any liability.
Per MIRROR, after being given legal documents in a sex assault case, Prince Andrew was seen grabbing the reins as he emerged after a prolonged stay at Balmoral. On Wednesday, the Duke of York was observed horseback riding near his Royal Lodge house at Her Majesty's Windsor estate.
It was his first public appearance since being photographed at Balmoral on September 30. It comes after his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson claimed her family "moves together as a unit" in the aftermath of the Duke of York's recent scandal.
Despite getting divorced in 1996, the 61-year-old, who is the former wife of Prince Andrew, claimed that she still stands by her marital vows.
When she visits the UK, Sarah still stays with Andrew at Royal Lodge in Windsor and continues to admire her former mother-in-law, the Queen.
Prince Andrew denies partying with Giuffre at a London nightclub on March 10, 2001, after stepping down from royal responsibilities amid a scandal over his connection with pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
Queen reportedly spends millions to support Prince Andrew's legal battle
According to reports, the Queen will spend millions of pounds privately supporting the Duke of York's defense against sexual assault claims. Soon after her son's automobile accident Newsnight appearance, in which he discussed his connection with notorious billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, she promised to pay for his legal defense.
He added Melissa Lerner to his legal team in America, where she will work alongside lead counsel Andrew Brettler. The lawsuit is said to be highly costly, with Brettler reportedly costing $2,000 per hour, as per The Independent.
Prince Andrew must also pay his UK legal team, managed by Gary Bloxsome, a criminal defense lawyer. The Queen will foot the bill for the protracted legal struggle, using revenue from her private Duchy of Lancaster estate.
Last year, the estate's income increased by £1.5 ($2.04) million, bringing the total yearly income to more than £23 ($31.30) million. The prince's legal team in the United Kingdom allegedly brings the Queen up to speed on the case's progress.