Royals

Prince Harry blasts Prince Andrew’s sex abuse scandal

Harry is the first member of the royal family to speak out against Andrew.
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Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of sexual abuse that may be upsetting for some readers.

After months of legal back and forth and plenty of speculation from the press, Prince Andrew settled his sexual assault case with Jeffrey Epstein survivor Virginia Roberts Giuffre out of court in January 2022.

The news came after it was announced the case would go to trial in the US, with talk that Andrew and other royals would be called to give evidence in court.

Though details of the settlement between the Duke of York and Ms Giuffre have not been made public, Andrew was said to be “regretful” as the legal process came to an end.

Prince Andrew has settled his sexual assault case with Jeffrey Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre out of court.

(Image: Getty)

A document submitted in US court read: “The parties will file a stipulated dismissal upon Ms Giuffre’s receipt of the settlement (the sum of which is not being disclosed).

“Prince Andrew intends to make a substantial donation to Ms Giuffre’s charity in support of victims’ rights.”

It went on to state that the royal “never intended to malign Ms Giuffre’s character” in the legal battle and “he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks.”

Andrew was also said to “regret his association with Epstein” and he commended the bravery Ms Giuffre and other survivors who came forward about Epstein’s abuse and trafficking.

“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,” the statement concluded.

Ms Giuffre filed the suit against the prince last year and accused him of having sex with her on three occasions, after she was trafficked by convicted paedophile Epstein and his collaborator Ghislaine Maxwell.

She has been a vocal advocate for the rights of sexual abuse survivors and has been public in her battle to bring those involved in Epstein’s trafficking to justice.

In 2021, she told ABC via her lawyers: “I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions.”

Andrew was said to “regret his association with Epstein” in new legal documents.

(Image: Getty)

The settlement is an unexpected end to the legal proceedings, which would have seen Prince Andrew give evidence under oath in the coming months.

Legal researcher and reporter Lucia Osbourne-Crowley, who has followed the case closely, said it’s “very important to make it very clear that this is not just a financial settlement”.

In an interview with Channel 5 news, she said the statement filed in court where Andrew acknowledges Ms Giuffre was one of many victims of abuse at Epstein’s hands is still a victory for survivors.

“This is certainly not a straightforward admission of guilt, but it’s also not what you would expect to see in these settlements,” Lucia said.

WATCH: Prince Andrew’s shock legal settlement explained. Story continues after video.

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“In this language, Prince Andrew is admitting that this abuse happened … it doesn’t admit that Prince Andrew was personally involved, but it does acknowledge that this sexual abuse did take place.”

She went on to say that while Ms Giuffre had previously noted that she would not accept a financial settlement without an admission of guilt from Andrew, this statement may could have “tipped the scales” for the survivor.

Prince Harry is the only member of the royal family who has made public comment on his uncle’s alledged sex crimes.

(IMAGE: Getty)

And in a surprise update to this story in January 2023, Prince Harry became the first royal to publicly address the scandal, some twelve months after the settlement took place.

In his memoir Spare, Harry criticised how the royal family allowed Prince Andrew to retain security, despite being forced to stepped down as a working member of the royal family due to his sex crimes.

”He [Prince Andrew] was embroiled in a shameful scandal, accused of the sexual assault of a young woman and no one had so much suggested that he lose his security. Whatever grievances people had against us sex crimes weren’t on the list.”

Harry is of course referring to the now infamous removal of security that himself and Meghan Markle faced when they made the decision to leave the royal family and move to America.

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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