Buckinham Palace has removed the Duke of York’s royal privileges, but the recent US Court ruling leaves Prince Andrew in a pile of trouble over the Epstein-related legal proceedings, even as Epstein’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz continues to push a defense similar to that tried by Epstein before his death.
Prince Andrew’s motion was an aggressive attack upon Giuffre’s credibility and relied also on a oblique reference in the 2009 agreement to “royalty” in her lawsuit against Epstein, thus protecting the former Duke as “a member of the limited class which was intended to benefit from the contract.”
” Judge Kaplan’s US court decision spent some time looking at the definition of “potential defendant”, noting that the Florida court had no ability to deal with matters in the English jurisdiction and that the term would have meant different things to both Epstein and Giuffre. He decided that the meaning of the term was a question of fact and not one that could determine the outcome of Prince Andrew’s attempt to dismiss the Giuffre lawsuit.
The case, which touches upon a number of civil and criminal codes, from contract law in Florida, where the settlement was created, to abuse laws in New York, where Giuffre says the abuse occurred and continues to develop a range of issues and potential outcomes – none of them desirable – from Prince Andrew’s viewpoint.
Prince Andrew’s US attorney, Andrew Brettler, said that, by entering into the agreement, Giuffre intended to release a broad category of individuals, including royalty.
A Judge Lewis Kaplan appeared not be too convinced.
“Including the Sultan of Brunei?” he quipped.
Dershowitz raised a defense similar to what Prince Andrew attempted in the professor’s lawsuit with Giuffre and which she subsequently dropped.
Dershowitz has previously represented rapist Harvey Weinstein and former President Trump, and was accused of rape by Giuffre. But the setback for Prince Andrew in the current case will only hasten is continuing slide from both royal duties and reputation generally.
It is clear that the bare-knuckle brawl involving Prince Andrew, Giuffre and the overhanging heat over the mysterious Epstein death and involvement of law star David Boies . . and on it goes.
Whatever happens, it seems clear indeed that whatever the outcome, Her Majesty has no interest in paying her second son’s legal bills. And for Prince Andrew, the best cause of action will be a likely extremely expensive out-of-court settlement.