Prince Andrew team were ‘quietly confident’ their argument would ‘get them over the line’

Expert says Prince Andrew's royal comeback is impossible

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In a thirteen year old $500,000 (£371,000) settlement between Ms Giuffre and Epstein released in court last Monday, Andrew’s accuser agreed to not bring any future cases against other “potential defendants”. Though the agreement does not mention the Queen’s son by name, Andrew’s lawyers claim that the deal means Ms Giuffre cannot sue him, an argument that her lawyers contest. Ms Giuffre, who is suing Andrew in New York, alleged that he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 and a minor in a number of US states.

She claimed that she was trafficked to Andrew by Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell 20 years ago.

The Duke of York has vehemently denied the accusations on multiple occasions, telling the BBC’s Newsnight in 2019: “It didn’t happen. I can categorically tell you it never happened.

“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady. None, whatsoever.”

Royal expert Mr Myers claimed that Andrew’s legal team, led by Andrew B Brettler, were quietly confident that the contents of the 2009 settlement between Epstein and Ms Giuffre would “get them over the line.”

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Pod Save the Queen is hosted by Zoe Forsey and features Daily Mirror royal editor Mr Myers.

Mr Myers said: “The reason why it is so important, Andrew’s lawyer believed, is that they were going to try and get him off on the technicality of the ‘legal speak’ contained in this financial settlement.”

He added: “When you look at the language it is particularly vague, which I think is going to be an issue for Prince Andrew.

“Talking to his team as I have done the last couple of days, they were quietly confident that this was going to get them over the line and that the Duke of York wasn’t going to have to face a full on trial.

“That is certainly not my understanding of the situation but I’m not a vastly expensive legal mind.”

Last Tuesday at a virtual hearing, Mr Brettler told Judge Lewis A Kaplan that a potential defendant was “someone who was not named as a defendant but could have been” and insisted that it must have been someone she knew she had claims against when she filed the lawsuit in 2009.

In response, the judge said “potential” was a phrase neither he nor Mr Brettler could “find any meaning at all” in.

Mr Brettler added he wanted Ms Giuffre to “lock herself into a story now”, something that Judge Kaplan insisted was not required at this stage of proceedings.

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When analysing the lawyer’s attempts to convince the judge to dismiss the case, Mr Myers claimed that Judge Kaplan gave Mr Brettler “pretty short shrift”.

Mr Myers said: “Lewis Kaplan gave Andrew’s team pretty short shrift in my opinion, he found no meaning in the word or the phrase ‘potential defendant’.

“He was saying that the technicality of this deal, this financial settlement signed by Virginia Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein had no bearing on this case, because it was a completely different case.

He added: “What the judge did also have indifference with Andrew’s legal team is the way that they were essentially attacking Virgina Giuffre.”

David Boies, who is acting on behalf of Ms Giuffre, told the hearing last Tuesday that Andrew would not be a “potential defendant” as referred to in the civil case documents.

He argued: “The only claim that is asserted that was made in Florida in the 2009 action that covered Prince Andrew was the third count, which was to transport somebody for the purpose of illegal sexual activity. 

“There is no allegation that Prince Andrew was the person transporting. There is no allegation that Prince Andrew fell into the category of people who were doing the trafficking. 

“He was somebody to whom the girls were trafficked.”

Judge Kaplan said he appreciated the “arguments and the passions” of both sides over the 2009 settlement and added that he would come to a decision on the case “pretty soon”, though refused to specify exactly when.

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