Prince Andrew may well end up reaching a financial settlement with Virginia Giuffre, legal experts have told The Daily Beast, after the prince’s lawyers participated at the 11th hour in the US court process this week.
Such a settlement would, of course, probably be drafted in carefully negotiated verbiage specifying that Andrew was not admitting to anything untoward. There would be no official admission of guilt. Individuals would be left to draw their own conclusions as to what such a payment would mean.
Giuffre’s legal team did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily Beast. However, this team, led by lawyer David Boies, clearly presented the civil trial as a moral crusade, claiming for example in court records that it is “it is high time that [Andrew] be held to account, ”suggesting that any regulation that explicitly exonerates Andrew could be a bitter pill to swallow.
However, Boies also recently told an interviewer that Giuffre had “tried by all possible means to resolve this short dispute”, implying that it might be open to a settlement.
A spokesperson for Prince Andrew declined to comment on the likelihood of Andrew settling down with Giuffre, and his official position remains that he did not have sex with Giuffre. He said he had no recollection of ever meeting her, despite the high-profile photo of him with his arm around her bare stomach in Ghislaine Maxwell’s London apartment. Andrew hinted in his notorious BBC interview that the photo was fake.
David Hooper, the featured British libel lawyer and author of Reputations under fire told The Daily Beast: “Ultimately, I suspect Andrew will end up writing a check to get on with his life.”
Hooper’s guess follows a dramatic week in the civil case against Andrew by Giuffre, who claims she was raped three times by Andrew as a teenager while being trafficked around the world by his friend Jeffrey Epstein.
Less than 24 hours before Prince Andrew’s legal team went to a New York courtroom to participate in a preliminary hearing for the case, his aides insisted they would do no such thing. .
The temperature, for example, reported with confidence in its Monday print edition, presumably based on briefings from Andrew’s side: “The Duke will not be represented at the hearing. His UK lawyers oppose participating on the grounds that it would amount to accepting US jurisdiction in the case. “
That afternoon, however, the strategy of completely ignoring the case and implicitly refuting its legitimacy was in tatters. Because when the appeal hearing, supervised by Judge Lewis Kaplan of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York began, appeared none other than a representative of the prince: Andrew B. Brettler, the lawyer best known for portraying cannibalistic actor Armie Hammer and director Bryan Singer.
Oddly enough, before the hearing, a man and woman with English accents who apparently hadn’t thought of pressing their mute buttons were would have heard of background. Speculation ensued as to their identity.
It should be noted that Brettler’s main arguments were aimed at rebutting the legitimacy of the case. Andrew can make such arguments before a court case begins without being judged as having submitted to his jurisdiction.
He attempted to describe the lawsuit as “baseless, unsustainable and potentially illegal”. Interestingly, Brettler didn’t get very far. His claims that Andrew had not received properly served legal documents, for example, were flatly rejected by the judge who said there was “a fairly high degree of certainty that he (Andrew) can be served sooner rather than later, “and asked,” Let’s get rid of all the technicalities and get to the bottom of it. “
Indeed, the claim that he was not served properly now appears to have been entirely closed to Andrew after the UK High Court agreed to serve documents on Andrew.
A spokesperson for the UK Judicial Office told The Daily Beast: “The lawyers acting for Ms Giuffre have now provided further information to the High Court, and the High Court has accepted the request for service under the Convention of La Haye on the meaning. Court proceedings have not yet been served, but the High Court will now take action to serve under the Convention, unless service is arranged by agreement between the parties. “
Another speculative argument, that Giuffre’s prior agreement with Jeffrey Epstein could release the Duke “from potential liability,” was also overlooked by Kaplan, who berated Brettler for “making matters much more complicated than they were. were not in reality “.
It’s a neat summary of Andrew’s strategy throughout this vulgar saga, of course, but its end point could be very simple indeed: Andrew cutting a check.
“If he doesn’t make some sort of settlement, it’s going to haunt him. A judgment would be very difficult to enforce, but the litigation would continue to weigh it down.“
– David hooper
“I think it’s incredibly difficult for him to totally ignore US jurisdiction,” Hooper says, “It doesn’t look good if he waves them two fingers. At the same time, he probably won’t want to risk the humiliation of going on the witness stand and saying, “I’ve never had sex with her,” so they’ll likely get a default judgment. The damage could be a seven-figure sum.
“If he doesn’t make some sort of settlement, it’s going to haunt him.” A judgment would be very difficult to enforce, but the litigation would continue to weigh it down. For example, whenever he goes to Royal Ascot, there may be process servers coming out of the bushes.
“A civil lawsuit is all about the money. So I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he ended up being advised to pay it back. Not right away, but eventually.
Andrew certainly does not seem disturbed by the matter. Indeed, his carelessness was such that he went ahead with a filming weekend at his mother’s Scottish estate, Balmoral, last weekend, as if nothing was wrong with everyone.
That all changed on Monday night, and more will be revealed at the next court date, set for October 13.
Andrew’s bullish mood would have now changed. Citing an anonymous source, the UK Mirror reported Thursday evening: “He wasn’t her usual jaded, acting like everything was in hand. The matter has suddenly become very urgent and there is a distinct tension in the air. There has been a dramatic change in mood and the reality that it could not only last for months or even years as well as potentially costing millions of pounds is very real. “
“The harsh reality is that the Duke and his team have to face the fact that they have to solve this problem,” another anonymous source told the newspaper.
Another source said Recount The sun that being at Balmoral may offer Andrew at least temporary legal protection, with the Queen’s summer vacation retreat falling under Scottish rather than English jurisdiction. “Andy and his legal team must have known Scotland would be out of reach when he made his way up there,” the source said.
Frances Gibb, retired legal writer for The temperature, who continues to be a well-respected contributor to various British publications, told the Daily Beast that she also believed there was a “strong possibility” that Andrew could simply choose to settle the matter preemptively.
“They probably won’t be able to enforce a default judgment against Prince Andrew as the UK courts would say, ‘He didn’t go into the case, so we can’t enforce him’, so the question of how many millions of dollars for which the judgment is intended might not be particularly relevant. What is important is that he will have, for the rest of his life, embarrassment, shame and disgrace. humiliation to have a judgment against him for sexual abuse, ”she said.
Gibb argues that if the case comes to trial, however, Andrew will have mismanaged it.
Gibb said: “The best result for Andrew is that the judge agrees there is no case. But if he gets the green light, then the second best result is that Andrew, with gritted teeth, settles the case before it progresses. If he settles it, it’s the end.
“Andrew has put himself in a position where he is doomed by his silence. The only position that is worse for him is that he has to describe what he did with Virginia Giuffre under oath.“
– Marc Stephens
Gibb says his legal team’s engagement in the process on Monday shows his side has “thought better of putting two fingers on the legal process … it’s now in a corner.”
Marc Stephens, a lawyer with the leading international law firm Howard Kennedy who has long followed the legal difficulties of the royal family, however, takes a different view.
He believes that basically nothing has changed with Monday’s hearing. He told the Daily Beast: “Andrew has put himself in a position where he is doomed by his silence. The only position that is worse for him is that he must testify in public, and must describe what he did with Virginia Giuffre under oath. So the best strategy for him and his lawyers is to block and delay as long as possible.
“The worst that could happen then is a default judgment against him. Virginia Giuffre will obtain his justification but the money will not be enforceable, in particular because he will maintain that he enjoys immunity as an heir in the direct line of the sovereign. It will take four or five years to get to the Supreme Court. David Boies says he can’t hide behind palace walls, but in fact, that’s exactly what he can do.
Doesn’t Stephens believe Andrew will settle down?
“The settlement involves an implicit admission of guilt. He can’t settle. The least bad option for Andrew is to simply stay away from America.