Ahead of the guilty verdict reached by the jury and announced on Wednesday, Federal judges ordered that a 2009 settlement agreement connected to Jeffrey Epstein be unsealed and released to the public.
The settlement agreement was signed by both Epstein and Virginia Giuffre, who has accused Prince Andrew of sexually abusing her when she was a teen, according to Law and Crime.
The deal is reportedly "said to have shielded broad categories of Epstein's powerful associates, including 'royalty,' from civil liability," according to the outlet.
Prince Andrew claims that the agreement prevents Giuffre from filing a lawsuit against him. Professor Emeritus at Harvard Law School Alan Dershowitz has also argued that the agreement prevents civil claims against him.
Giuffre denies that the settlement prevents her from suing Prince Andrew. According to Law and Crime: "The civil agreement is separate from the non-prosecution agreement crafted in a way that would seem to shield Epstein's suspected co-conspirators from criminal liability."
Giuffre's lawsuit claims that Prince Andrew sexually abused her when she was 17. Court documents state that one instance of forced sexual intercourse happened at Ghislaine Maxwell's home in London, while another occasion happened in New York, where Maxwell made Giuffre sit on Prince Andrew’s lap while he proceeded to touch her.
Giuffre has also accused Dershowitz of sexual abuse, though he has denied these claims, and has countersued Giuffre for defamation, as well as her lawyer David Boies.
"Indeed, that same agreement was the basis for Giuffre agreeing to dismiss her previously released battery claim against Professor Dershowitz earlier this year," Prince Andrew's lawyer Andrew Brettler said in a memo. "Professor Dershowitz, as a third-party beneficiary of the 2009 settlement agreement was entitled to rely upon and enforce the terms of that secret deal."
Giuffre and Prince Andrew will appear in federal court on Jan. 4, 2022, one day later after the release of the agreement.