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Prince Andrew is facing calls for his Duke of York title to be withdrawn following the news he reached a settlement with sexual assault accuser Virginia Giuffre on Tuesday.
The settlement was confirmed by Giuffre’s attorney David Boies in a letter to U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan on Tuesday.
“We write jointly with counsel for defendant to advise the Court that the parties reached a settlement,” Giuffre’s attorney said in the letter.
The letter added that the parties plan to file a stipulation of dismissal within 30 days after Giuffre receives her payout.
Following news of the settlement, Rachael Maskell, the Labour MP for York Central, said (via the U.K.’s The Guardian): “Although it is a relief that Prince Andrew has finally acknowledged and expressed regret for his close association with a convicted sex offender and sex trafficker, Jeffrey Epstein, his long delay in doing so and initial response to the charges and Ms Giuffre have been a source of deep hurt and embarrassment to many people across the city.
“Carrying a title does create an ambassadorial relationship with that place, and for somewhere with a global reputation, such as York, this is extremely important. It is to be welcomed that he has now pledged to support the fight against the evils of sex trafficking and its victims.
“To demonstrate his seriousness in this endeavor, and his respect for those affected by abuse and the people of our city, I would ask that his first act of contrition is to confirm his support for the withdrawal of his ducal title,” the statement concludes.
Maskell also applauded Giuffre for her bravery in speaking out in a tweet which reads, “A young woman trafficked & exploited. She bravely spoke out. People of privilege, position & power tried to suppress & silence. This must be a turning point, where York is not a Duke’s title but a people’s movement to fight for the rights of women & girls.”
According to the outlet, parliament would have to be involved in the possible removal of Prince Andrew’s title by means of a statute passed by the House of Commons and the Lords.
York’s city council members also voiced their interest in seeing Queen Elizabeth’s son be stripped of his title. Darryl Smalley, the city’s executive member for culture, leisure and communities, said: “Buckingham Palace and the government must consider the implications of the troubling allegations moving forward.”
U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said in a statement that the decision lies on the palace.
Prince Andrew has settled a sexual abuse lawsuit brought by accuser Virginia Giuffre in Manhattan federal court – dodging a potentially embarrassing trial slated for the fall, according to a new filing.
(Steve Parsons/Pool Photo via AP, File)
“There’s been a, obviously, a payment and I think that is where he currently remains, that the decision on titles rests obviously with the palace in the future, but I think it’s been pretty clear that this settlement is a recognition that he wants to bring this to a close and also recognize as his statement says the suffering and the challenges that the victims have been through as a result of their allegations and their stand against the exploitation by [Jeffrey] Epstein,” Wallace said.
The court papers on Tuesday said the settlement sum will not be disclosed but added that Queen Elizabeth II’s middle son will also make a substantial donation to Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights.
“Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre’s character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks,” the letter states.
“It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years. Prince Andrew regrets his association with Epstein and commends the bravery of Ms. Giuffre and other survivors in standing up for themselves and others,” the filing continues.
Photo from 2001 that was included in court files shows Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of 17-year-old Virginia Giuffre who says Jeffrey Epstein paid her to have sex with the prince. Andrew has denied the charges. In the background is Epstein’s girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell.
(U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals)
In the civil suit filed in August, Giuffre alleged that she was sexually abused by the Duke of York on three occasions when she was under 18 at the behest of the late financier and disgraced British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
The civil case, in which Giuffre alleges battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, was scheduled to go to trial in the fall of 2022.
In a widely panned BBC interview in 2019, the Duke claimed he never met the teen.
Prince Andrew has denied the allegations, which have cost him dearly, and kept his unseemly former friendship with Epstein and Maxwell in the spotlight. In the wake of the scandal, he was forced to give up his public duties and royal patronages.
Virginia Giuffre speaks during a news conference outside a Manhattan court in New York, Aug. 27, 2019.
(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)
In January, the palace confirmed the queen would accept the return of Andrew’s military affiliations and royal patronages. “With The Queen’s approval and agreement, The Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen,” a statement shared with Fox News Digital read. “The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
Giuffre has been one of Epstein and Maxwell’s most vocal accusers. Epstein, a convicted pedophile, was found hanged in his Manhattan jail cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on serious sex crimes charges.
Maxwell was convicted in December of sex trafficking and other charges for recruiting and grooming young women to be abused by Epstein. But her conviction could be overturned over allegations of juror misconduct.
A spokesperson for Giuffre and Prince Andrew’s Los Angeles-based lawyer did not immediately return requests for comment.
Fox News’ Rebecca Rosenberg contributed to this report.
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