Prince Andrew will have a chance to review a 2009 settlement agreement he hopes will shield him from a civil lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing a woman two decades ago, when she was underage.
In an order on Wednesday, US District Judge Loretta Preska granted permission for Andrew’s lawyers to receive a copy of the confidential agreement between the late financier Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Giuffre, the prince’s accuser.
Ms Giuffre, who is sometimes known by her married name of Roberts, has also accused Epstein of abuse.
Epstein’s estate had agreed to letting the Duke of York – the Queen’s second son – review the agreement, but court approval was needed.
Andrew, 61, has not been charged with any crime, and has “categorically” denied Ms Giuffre’s claims against him.
Andrew Brettler, a lawyer for the prince, said in an email he expected to receive the agreement soon from Ms Giuffre’s lawyers.
At a hearing last month, Mr Brettler told the judge overseeing Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit he believed the agreement “absolves our client from any and all liability”.
Lawyers for Ms Giuffre did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
David Boies, one of the lawyers, said in a court filing last month he believed the settlement was “irrelevant” to Ms Giuffre’s case against Andrew.
Ms Giuffre, who is now 38 and lives in Australia, has accused the British royal of forcing her to have sex when she was underage at the London home of Epstein’s long-time associate Ghislaine Maxwell.
She also said Andrew abused her at Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan, and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.
Andrew faces an October 29 deadline to formally respond to Ms Giuffre’s lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages.
Epstein, a registered sex offender, killed himself at age 66 in a Manhattan jail in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Ms Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to helping recruit and groom underage girls for Epstein to abuse. Her trial in Manhattan is scheduled for November 29.