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Prince Andrew settles sexual abuse lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre, avoids trial in NYC

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Britain's Prince Andrew is seen during an event in London, Britain, on November 10, 2019. Tuesday, court documents showed that he's agreed to settle accusations of sexual assault in New York court. File Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE
Britain's Prince Andrew is seen during an event in London, Britain, on November 10, 2019. Tuesday, court documents showed that he's agreed to settle accusations of sexual assault in New York court. File Photo by Andy Rain/EPA-EFE

Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Britain's Prince Andrew has reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit filed by Virginia Giuffre that says she was sexually assaulted by the royal as part of a trafficking operation when she was a minor, officials said Tuesday.

The settlement was detailed in a court filing in New York City, but it does not specify the amount of money Andrew agreed to pay.

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The deal avoids a public trial in New York that would have likely brought embarrassment to Britain's royal family. Prince Andrew is Queen Elizabeth II's second-eldest son after Prince Charles.

In a letter to U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan, Prince Andrew's lawyers said that he will make a "substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre's charity in support of victims' rights."

Giuffre has accused Prince Andrew of sexually abusing her when she was 17 -- and said she was put up to it by disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in a New York City jail in 2019 awaiting sex trafficking charges.

Virginia Giuffre is seen leaving Manhattan Federal Court on August 27, 2019 in New York City. File Photo by Louis Lanzano/UPI
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The letter also states that Prince Andrew had "never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre's character" and recognized that she "suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks." Both admissions were part of the settlement agreement, attorneys said.

Andrew had unsuccessfully made attempts to get the lawsuit dismissed. In January, his attorney urged Kaplan to dismiss the case, arguing that Giuffre failed to articulate what happened to her. Around that same time, he was formally stripped of his royal titles and duties.

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Tuesday's agreement came just weeks before Andrew was scheduled to give a deposition in the case under questioning from Giuffre's attorneys.

In 2015, Giuffre accused Ghislaine Maxwell, a close associate of Epstein's and confidant of Prince Andrew, of recruiting her and other underage girls to be sexually abused. She also said Epstein and Maxwell offered her to Prince Andrew on more than one occasion.

The letter filed in court also says that Prince Andrews "regrets his association with Epstein."

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In December, Maxwell was found guilty on five of six related charges in federal court.

Court documents show that Giuffre settled a similar case against Epstein 11 years ago for $500,000.

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