Prince Andrew could have avoided his on-going sexual assault lawsuit if he had apologised to his accuser Virginia Giuffre Roberts years ago, sources have claimed.

The second son of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth is currently facing the prospect of appearing in a New York court to face the allegations, after Ms Roberts brought a civil lawsuit against him.

Virginia Giuffre Roberts claims the Duke of York slept with her three times when she was 17. Andrew has repeatedly and strenuously denied the allegations over the years.

‘Virginia has always just wanted the prince to acknowledge that he did something he shouldn’t have, she wants him to apologize. She has never made this all about money,’ a source close to Ms Roberts told the New York Post

‘I think she would have dropped this a long, long time ago had the prince said he was guilty of wrongdoing, but he’s embroiled in denial which has brought him down.’  

Pictured: Britain's Prince Andrew seen leaving the Royal Lodge and heading to Windsor Castle in England last week. Andrew could have avoided his ongoing sexual assault lawsuit if he had apologised to his accuser years ago, sources have claimed

Pictured: Britain's Prince Andrew seen leaving the Royal Lodge and heading to Windsor Castle in England last week. Andrew could have avoided his ongoing sexual assault lawsuit if he had apologised to his accuser years ago, sources have claimed

Pictured: Britain’s Prince Andrew seen leaving the Royal Lodge and heading to Windsor Castle in England last week. Andrew could have avoided his ongoing sexual assault lawsuit if he had apologised to his accuser years ago, sources have claimed

The source’s comments came after a New York Judge Lewis Kaplan said he will decide ‘pretty soon’ whether to dismiss a sexual assault lawsuit against Andrew. 

The royal’s lawyers argued Tuesday that he was protected by a settlement that his accuser signed in 2009.

Attorney Andrew Brettler told a court hearing Virginia Giuffre had ‘waived her rights’ to sue other defendants in relation to alleged sex crimes committed by late disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Judge Kaplan did not make an immediate ruling but appeared to express skepticism at Andrew’s argument, questioning how a third party could enforce an agreement that it didn’t know about when it was signed. 

The hearing in the civil action filed by Giuffre – also a longtime accuser of Epstein’s companion, the convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell – were held via video conference with the public able to listen in by telephone. 

Giuffre alleges Andrew also sexually abused her at the London home of Maxwell, who last week was found guilty of sex trafficking minors for Epstein.

‘You would be hard pressed to find someone who Ghislaine’s guilty conviction affects more than Prince Andrew,’ the source told the New York Post. 

‘This changes everything for how we think about anyone connected to Epstein. Andrew is 61 and he’s about to have a reckoning.’ 

The Duke of York was photographed with his arm around the bare waist of then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts. In the background, Ghislaine Maxwell. Roberts claims she was forced to have sex with the royal three times. Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations

The Duke of York was photographed with his arm around the bare waist of then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts. In the background, Ghislaine Maxwell. Roberts claims she was forced to have sex with the royal three times. Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations

The Duke of York was photographed with his arm around the bare waist of then 17-year-old Virginia Roberts. In the background, Ghislaine Maxwell. Roberts claims she was forced to have sex with the royal three times. Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations

Miss Roberts, 38, claims she was 17 when she slept with Andrew three times in 2001 under orders from Epstein. Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations

Miss Roberts, 38, claims she was 17 when she slept with Andrew three times in 2001 under orders from Epstein. Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations

Miss Roberts, 38, claims she was 17 when she slept with Andrew three times in 2001 under orders from Epstein. Andrew has repeatedly denied the allegations

Giuffre alleges that Epstein lent her out for sex with his wealthy and powerful associates, including to Andrew. 

The deal made public for the first time Monday by a New York court showed that Giuffre agreed to drop a civil claim against Epstein for $500,000. 

The settlement contained a provision that purports to protect ‘other potential defendants’ from being sued related to alleged sexual abuse committed by Epstein, who killed himself in jail in 2019.

Brettler described it as ‘unambiguous’ and argued that it protected the prince from litigation.

‘Miss Giuffre intended to release a broad category of individuals, including royalty, including businessmen,’ Brettler said.

‘She waived her rights to sue them when she entered into the 2009 release agreement and accepted the money from Mr. Epstein.’

But the judge said that neither he nor Brettler could ‘find any meaning at all’ in the word ‘potential.’

Giuffre sued the prince for unspecified damages last year, alleging he sexually assaulted her in 2001 when she was 17 and a minor under American law.

She says Andrew assaulted her at Epstein’s home in New York, and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands. 

Court documents show Prince Andrew has hired celebrity attorney Andrew Brettler to represent him in the sexual assault case brought against him by his accuser and Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre (right)

Court documents show Prince Andrew has hired celebrity attorney Andrew Brettler to represent him in the sexual assault case brought against him by his accuser and Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre (right)

Attorney Andrew Brettler of powerhouse Los Angeles law firm Lavely & Singer

Attorney Andrew Brettler of powerhouse Los Angeles law firm Lavely & Singer

Prince Andrew has hired Hollywood attorney Andrew Brettler (right) to represent him in the sexual assault case brought against him by his accuser and Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre

Andrew's lawyer was seeking to persuade the court that his accuser, Virginia Roberts, had waived her right to sue him when she signed an earlier £370,000 ($500,000) legal settlement with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the duke's friend. The 2009 settlement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre was unsealed on Monday

Andrew's lawyer was seeking to persuade the court that his accuser, Virginia Roberts, had waived her right to sue him when she signed an earlier £370,000 ($500,000) legal settlement with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the duke's friend. The 2009 settlement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre was unsealed on Monday

Andrew’s lawyer was seeking to persuade the court that his accuser, Virginia Roberts, had waived her right to sue him when she signed an earlier £370,000 ($500,000) legal settlement with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the duke’s friend. The 2009 settlement between Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre was unsealed on Monday

Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies argued that the Epstein-Giuffre agreement was unrelated to Andrew because it was signed in Florida.

‘Prince Andrew was not subject to jurisdiction,’ he told judge Kaplan.

Pace University law professor Bennett Gershman said he expected Kaplan to reject Andrew’s stance. ‘Are they saying everybody in the world is now free because of the settlement? It’s a tough sell,’ he told AFP news agency. 

Andrew, 61, has not been criminally charged.

Maxwell, who introduced Andrew to Epstein in the early 1990s, faces life behind bars after being convicted by New York jurors on five counts.

Epstein died aged 66 in a Manhattan jail in what New York’s coroner ruled was a suicide, after being charged with child sex trafficking.

Back in 2008 he was convicted of paying young girls for sexual massages in Florida but served just 13 months in jail after striking a deal with the then-state prosecutor.

Andrew has rarely been seen in public since he was forced to quit the royal frontline in 2019 for failing to distance himself from Epstein.

Prince Andrew is interviewed for the BBC's Newsnight in November 2019. In the interview, Andrew denied Ms Giuffre's claim that they had shared a sweaty dance at a London nightclub, saying that at the time he could not sweat due to a condition

Prince Andrew is interviewed for the BBC's Newsnight in November 2019. In the interview, Andrew denied Ms Giuffre's claim that they had shared a sweaty dance at a London nightclub, saying that at the time he could not sweat due to a condition

Prince Andrew is interviewed for the BBC’s Newsnight in November 2019. In the interview, Andrew denied Ms Giuffre’s claim that they had shared a sweaty dance at a London nightclub, saying that at the time he could not sweat due to a condition

In a disastrous interview with the BBC that year, Andrew denied Giuffre’s claim that they had shared a sweaty dance at a London nightclub, saying that at the time he could not sweat due to a condition related to having fought in the 1982 Falklands War.

Last week, Giuffre’s lawyers demanded Andrew hand over medical records proving that he cannot sweat. Andrew’s legal team has accused Giuffre of seeking to profit from a ‘baseless lawsuit.’

If the case proceeds and Giuffre and Andrew don’t settle then it could go before a jury trial, likely in the latter half of this year.

On Friday, Kaplan rejected attempts by Andrew’s lawyers to halt progression of the suit on the grounds that Giuffre now lives in Australia.

‘Brutal’ Prince Andrew court hearing ‘couldn’t have gone worse’ for him: Duke’s hopes of having case thrown out hang by a thread after judge ‘made it very clear he did not accept’ royal lawyers’ arguments, experts say

Prince Andrew‘s hopes of getting the case by his US sex accuser thrown out of court were hanging by a thread last night following a ‘brutal’ hearing in New York.

A judge told the royal he would find out ‘pretty soon’ – most likely within days – if his bid to have the lawsuit dismissed would be successful.

But the early signs were not good for the Queen‘s son after Judge Lewis Kaplan put his legal team through a bruising encounter during a make-or-break hearing in New York yesterday.

One legal expert said that the hearing ‘could not have gone worse’ and pointed out that the fact that his lawyers were reduced to saying they ‘respectfully disagree’ with the judge did not bode well- adding ‘respectfully disagreeing with the judge means you are about to lose.’  

Andrew’s lawyer was seeking to persuade the court that his accuser, Virginia Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre, had waived her right to sue him when she signed an earlier £370,000 ($500,000) legal settlement with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the duke’s friend.

Miss Roberts, 38, one of the billionaire sex offender’s most high-profile victims, claims she was trafficked by him and girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell to have sex with Andrew on three occasions when she was 17.

The 61-year-old prince vehemently denies the claims and says he has no recollection of even meeting her.

Judge Kaplan appeared mostly dismissive of the arguments by the duke’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler.

He said that part of the 2009 settlement protecting ‘other potential defendants’ that Andrew’s lawyers had appeared to be leaning on was ‘unclear’ and pointed to two sentences in the text that seemed to suggest it could not be used by Andrew.

Judge Kaplan also pointed to language in the agreement stating it is ‘not intended to be used by any other person’ to protect themselves from lawsuits without the agreement of Miss Roberts and Epstein – suggesting Andrew could not rely on it.

While he did not immediately rule at the end of the hearing, he made clear that he was not leaning Andrew’s way as he rejected much of the reasoning offered by Mr Brettler, who said the case ‘should absolutely be dismissed’.

Judge Kaplan told the two sides: ‘I appreciate the arguments and the passion. You’ll have the decision pretty soon.’ But he directed that the exchange of potential evidence in the case was to proceed as scheduled – which was seen as an indication he would likely rule against Andrew’s motion.

Sources close to the proceedings yesterday described them as ‘brutal’ for Andrew. During the hour-long hearing, held via video conference due to Covid, Judge Kaplan interjected several times in Mr Brettler’s arguments.

He told him once: ‘With all due respect, Mr Brettler, that’s not a dog that’s going to hunt here’ and another time asked the lawyer outright: ‘So what?’

Prominent legal figures suggested the case had gone against Andrew following tough questioning and the skepticism from Judge Kaplan over the arguments.

Mitchell Epner, a former federal prosecutor who now works as counsel for law firm Rottenberg Lipman Rich told The Times: ‘From Andrew’s point of view it could not have gone worse.

‘Judge Kaplan made it very clear that he did not accept the arguments that Prince Andrew’s counsel was making with regard to the settlement agreement.

‘There were a number of times where Andrew’s counsel was reduced to saying, ‘Well, I respectfully disagree.’ In the courtroom, respectfully disagreeing with the judge means you are about to lose.’

Lisa Bloom, a US trial lawyer who previously advised rapist Harvey Weinstein and has been following proceedings tweeted: ‘Andrew wants her case thrown out on technical grounds. Judge Kaplan aggressively questioned defense on this and appeared unwilling to do it.

‘I’m optimistic that Virginia will get her day in court.’ 

Source: dailymail

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