Prince Andrew loses bid to dismiss sexual abuse lawsuit
A federal judge in New York ruled Wednesday that Virginia Giuffre's lawsuit alleging disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein arranged for Prince Andrew to sexually abuse and rape her when she was 17 years old can continue.
Why it matters: Andrew, who has denied the allegation and has said he did not participate in the sexual exploitation of minors or witness such behavior, will now face a civil trial in the U.S.
Driving the news: Lawyers representing Andrew argued that a $500,000 settlement between Epstein and Giuffre in 2009 should stop her from suing Andrew because it contained a provision preventing her from filing lawsuits against Epstein and anyone who could be a "potential defendant."
- But District Judge Lewis Kaplan ruled that the lawsuit does not shield Andrew from any lawsuits because the agreement "cannot be said to demonstrate, clearly and unambiguously, that the parties intended the instrument 'directly,' 'primarily,' or 'substantially' to benefit Prince Andrew."
- Kaplan wrote that the court "cannot rewrite the 2009 Agreement to give the defendant rights where the agreement does not clearly manifest an attempt to create them."
The big picture: The ruling comes just two weeks after Ghislaine Maxwell, a close associate of Epstein, was found guilty by a federal jury of helping him sexually abuse several teenage girls.