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US judge rules key document in Prince Andrew’s trial may be kept under wraps

NEW YORK – A 2008 settlement agreement that a lawyer for Prince Andrew said would protect him from allegations he sexually assaulted an American woman at the age of 17 may remain under wraps, a judge ruled today New York.

U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan makes the ruling in a brief order issued a day after Andrew’s attorney requested that the document remain sealed when he files arguments as to why he thinks the judge should dismiss the ‘lawsuit. Lawyer Andrew Brettler said he wanted to include a copy of the agreement with the arguments.

In the August trial, Virginia Giuffre claims the prince repeatedly assaulted her in 2001. Andrew said he never had sex with her.

Brettler, who called the lawsuit “baseless,” said neither the prince nor Giuffre was claiming the release deal should remain sealed, but they demanded that it be kept secret as it is subject to an order of protection of another judge presiding over a federal civil action. At New York.

The settlement agreement was reached between Giuffre and Jeffrey Epstein, who was found dead aged 66 in his cell in 2019 pending a sex trafficking trial in a New York federal prison. His death was considered suicide.

In today’s order, Kaplan notes that Jeffrey Epstein’s estate also does not argue that the settlement agreement should remain sealed.

Kaplan appeared to urge the parties to ask the judge in the other case – Loretta A. Preska – to accept that the document may be unsealed, saying Preska “may well consider with favor a request … to allow public disclosure of the document. settlement agreement. “

“But that’s for her to say,” he wrote, ruling that the deal can be put under seal and stay that way unless Preska and Kaplan decide otherwise.

In yesterday’s filing, Brettler said the deal “frees Prince Andrew and others from any alleged liability arising from the claims Ms Giuffre has made against Prince Andrew here”.

A hearing in Prince Andrew’s trial is scheduled for next week.

The Associated Press generally does not identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they choose to come forward publicly, as Giuffre did.


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