When disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein was initially charged for his depraved conduct, his victims believed he would finally be brought to justice. Sadly, these sexual-abuse survivors were re-victimized by a system that failed to hold Epstein accountable for his actions. It would be years before this known sex offender would see the inside of a jail cell. Even then, Epstein’s untimely death kept these survivors from their day in court. However, authorities believe Epstein did not act alone. Several famous individuals have been identified as abusers, including Britain’s Prince Andrew. Recently, one Epstein victim achieved a settlement in Andrew’s abuse case.
Virginia Giuffre v. Prince Andrew
In 2021, Virginia Giuffre filed a civil lawsuit against Britain’s Prince Andrew in the U.S. District Court of Manhattan. In her suit, Giuffre alleged that Epstein trafficked her and that he and Prince Andrew sexually assaulted and battered her when she was 17 years old.
When the allegations came to light, Prince Andrew denied ever having met Giuffre. However, Giuffre’s 2021 complaint included a now well-recognized photo of Andrew standing beside 17-year-old Giuffre with his arm around her waist. The image also shows the two with Epstein’s longtime associate and convicted sex trafficker, Ghislaine Maxwell.
Upon filing suit, Giuffre said, “I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me.” She also related she hopes that “other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one’s life by speaking out and demanding justice.”
Prince Andrew’s Sexual Abuse Case Settlement
In February 2022, Prince Andrew agreed to a settlement that would end Giuffre’s lawsuit. Although the financial details were not made public, the agreement included a stipulation that Andrew would “make a substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights.” The settlement was reached approximately one month after Andrew’s request to dismiss Giuffre’s suit was denied. Andrew sought the dismissal based on Giuffre’s prior settlement with Epstein. He unsuccessfully claimed that the Epstein sexual abuse settlement precluded her from filing suit against him.
Andrew continues to deny Giuffre’s allegations. However, a document was submitted to the judge wherein it’s alleged that Andrew “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 court filing also acknowledged Epstein’s extensive abuse stating that:
“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. He pledges to demonstrate his regret for his association with Epstein by supporting the fight against the evils of sex trafficking and by supporting its victims.”
In March of 2022, Andrew paid the agreed-upon settlement to Giuffre. Although the settlement amount was not disclosed, it’s estimated to be around $16.3 million.
The Child Victims Act and the Adult Survivors Act
Giuffre sued Andrew under New York’s Child Victims Act, which permitted childhood sexual abuse survivors to pursue claims against their abusers outside of the state’s statute of limitations for the offenses. The window to bring a time-barred action for childhood sexual abuse actions has now closed. However, there is pending legislation, the Adult Survivors Act, that would allow adult survivors of sexual abuse to have the same opportunity to file previously time-barred civil actions against their abusers.
Contact an Experienced Sexual Abuse Injury Attorney
If you’ve been the victim of rape, sexual abuse, or other sexual violence, you want an experienced and compassionate sexual abuse injury attorney on your side. Bonina & Bonina, P.C. understand the importance of helping sexual violence survivors get the help they need for their trauma. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se Habla Español.