What’s Next for Prince Andrew After Abuse Lawsuit Settlement?

(CNN) — And so it all ended. Britain’s Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s third son, reached an agreement with Virginia Giuffre to resolve the civil suit for sexual abuse that she filed against him.

Giuffre claims that convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her and forced her to perform sexual acts on his friends, including Prince Andrew. She also said that the royal knew that she was a minor in the United States at the time.

Giuffre filed the case last August under the Child Victims Act, state legislation enacted in New York in 2019 that temporarily extends the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases. Which gives survivors more time to seek justice.

Andrés, 61, repeatedly denied the accusations against him. Just a few weeks ago, his attorneys demanded a jury trial to clear his client’s name.

The agreement between Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre

Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre reach agreement 0:41

But, now the looming showdown in a courtroom is over. This Tuesday, the two parties settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.

In a letter to Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan, the parties stated that while they will not disclose the full financial terms of the settlement, “Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre’s charity in support of the victims’ rights.

According to the court document filed by Giuffre’s attorneys, the parties plan to request a stipulation to dismiss the case within 30 days.

So, given the news of the conclusion of the pending case, it is necessary to analyze some things.

Prince Andrew has said he remembers meeting Giuffre or posing for the infamous photo showing him with his arm around the teenager.

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One photograph appears to show Prince Andrew with Virginia Giuffre, one of the women who accused Jeffrey Epstein, and Ghislaine Maxwell in the background.

His lawyers have spent months trying to undermine Giuffre’s testimony. This under the argument that his statements were motivated by money. In October they wrote in a fiery court filing that “Giuffre started this baseless lawsuit against Prince Andrew to get another payment at his expense.”

Andrés did not confirm or deny Giuffre’s claims in Tuesday’s court filing. However, he reached a likely multi-million dollar settlement with a woman who brought serious sexual abuse allegations against her.

And the cost of the deal?

Newspapers in Britain added insult to injury on Wednesday with numerous headlines suggesting the deal was worth between 10 and 12 million pounds sterling (about $13 to 16 million). The newspaper Daily Mail titled with “The Duke’s £10million Final Humiliation”. While the newspaper The Sun published “His final disgrace” and The Daily Telegraph reported “The Queen will help pay for the £12m deal”.

Prince Andrew’s Twitter account closed 0:39

Now, there are doubts about how Andrés will pay for the agreement. In that sense, it has been hinted that the Queen can contribute. But, that could be detrimental to the monarch, if she ever gets confirmed.

To date, the queen has largely avoided becoming the target of public anger over the saga involving her son. She remains revered, and “the firm” has gone to great lengths to distance itself from the civil lawsuit.

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Queen Elizabeth and her son chat at the Windsor Horse Show in 2017.

A closer look at the document’s language also reveals some details. He states that “Prince Andrew never intended to smear Mrs Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as the result of unjust public attacks.”

The Duke of York’s team now acknowledges his trauma and praises his bravery in coming forward.

“Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein and commends the courage of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others,” the document continues.

One of the great criticisms of Prince Andrew was his lack of empathy for Epstein’s victims. Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies provided insight into the case from her perspective in January when he told the BBC it was important to his client that the matter “be resolved in a way that vindicates her and the other victims.” Sigrid McCawley, another lawyer for Giuffre, said Tuesday that she was “very satisfied with the resolution” of the lawsuit.

Why is all this happening now?

Then there is the question of why is all this happening now? The agreement comes at a crucial moment in the case. Precisely, it has already passed the stage of presenting evidence, during which both parties could demand the disclosure of the documents and the parties involved would have had to give a statement.

Andres was less than a month away from having to testify under oath before Giuffre’s lawyers, who reportedly planned to fly to London to question him in person. If ever there was a time to compromise, this was it.

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Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein (far right) are pictured together at the Ascot horse races.

CNN legal analyst Joey Jackson says it was “a significant development and departure” for the Duke. Precisely because with litigation “there will always be revelations that happen.”

“In depositions, for example, where you raise your hand and swear to tell the truth… In the event that he perjures himself, it opens up to some other issues. And then obviously that stays in the news,” he continued. .

“Not to mention a legal perspective, where after the depositions, after the discovery, you go to court and you could lose. And that’s when all sorts of details can come out that you might not want.”

How does the Prince Andrew problem hurt the royals? 1:55

Jackson believes that Prince Andrew was left with no alternative other than a deal. Well, letting the case drag on “would not do him or anyone associated with him any good,” he said.

“I think this was the best option to explore and ultimately take,” he added.

The end of the lawsuit does not solve the reputation of Prince Andrew

However, the end of the lawsuit does not mean that we will see the Duke of York return to his public duties any time soon. For the former naval member, that ship has truly sailed.

Prince Andrew’s handling of the crisis since the Giuffre allegations surfaced years ago has left his reputation in tatters.

The court of public opinion appointed him person non grata after that disastrous interview with the BBC in 2019, during which he was coy about his years-long friendship with Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. Prince Andrew who was in a pizzeria the night he allegedly had sex with Giuffre. He also said that he was medically incapable of sweating, countering Giuffre’s accusations that he had sweated profusely before having sex in 2001, when she was 17 years old.

A deal leaves many of the issues raised in that interview unresolved.

And it’s important to note that the recently convicted Maxwell now faces life in prison for sex trafficking.

Legal experts say prosecutors could consider continuing their work investigating the crimes of the socialite British and Epstein to determine whether others should be charged. Especially if she decides to cooperate.

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Prince Andrew has kept a low profile since retiring from public duties as a member of the royal family.

These days, the prince spends much of his time on the Windsor estate. And often he is surrounded by photographers when he tries to leave his house.

What does Buckingham Palace say?

A Buckingham Palace spokesman told CNN they would not comment on the latest developments in the case on Tuesday. And he once again said that it was a matter for the duke and his legal team.

But the deal will likely be welcomed inside the palace, as it means the court case will no longer cast a shadow over the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer.

Why was Prince Andrew stripped of his titles? 2:47

The family has done everything possible to distance itself from the scandal surrounding Andrés. The queen even stripped him of his “her royal highness” status, as well as his royal patronages and affiliations last month. Which made it clear that his exile from the royal front was permanent.

It is worth noting that Andrés still has a constitutional role. He remains Councilor of State, and alongside Charles, William and Harry, he could be called upon to take on some of the queen’s duties if she were temporarily incapacitated due to illness or if she were away.

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Street art depicting Prince Andrew is seen in the Shoreditch area of ​​London on July 1, 2020.

Andrés’ resignation from his real role in front of the public does not change his status as counselor: an act of parliament would be needed to revoke it.

It remains to be seen how the prince will overcome this.

The carefully worded agreement letter states that: “He agrees to show his remorse for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking and supporting its victims.”

That suggests he could become a kind of advocate for survivors of sexual abuse. But, reputation management experts have previously expressed doubts about Andrew’s ability to repair his image. And it’s unclear how welcome any offer of help from him towards charities or support groups would be.

While the prospect of an embarrassing public trial is out of the question, by settling he has failed to clear his name and the damage to his reputation has already been done.

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What’s Next for Prince Andrew After Abuse Lawsuit Settlement?