A federal judge in New York on Wednesday rejected a request by Prince Andrew of Britain to dismiss a lawsuit accusing him of having sex with an underage girl, Virginia Giuffre, years ago while she also was being sexually exploited by Jeffrey Epstein.
Andrew, a son of Queen Elizabeth II, had been a longtime friend of Epstein, an eccentric money manager whom dozens of women say sexually abused them as girls and as young women.
Giuffre’s lawsuit alleges she had sex with Andrew while underage at the direction of Ghislaine Maxwell, who weeks ago was convicted in the same courthouse of procuring other girls to be abused by Epstein.
Andrew has denied Giuffre’s claims in the civil suit, which seeks monetary damages for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In his ruling Wednesday, Judge Lewis Kaplan noted that his refusal to dismiss the case was not based on a finding that Giuffre’s claims are true, which will be decided by a jury.
Instead, Kaplan said he was allowing the suit to proceed because it is still an open question of whether a civil settlement Giuffre previously reached with Epstein also released Andrew from any legal liability because of his alleged actions against her.
Epstein, 66, died from what has officially been ruled a suicide by hanging in August 2019 in a Manhattan federal jail while awaiting trial on child sex trafficking charges.
In addition to Andrew, Epstein had previously been friend with other wealthy celebrities, including two former presidents, Donald Trump and Bill Clinton.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.