Prince Andrew civil sex assault case closed after paying multi-million pound settlement

8 March 2022, 22:42 | Updated: 9 March 2022, 00:39

The civil sex assault case against Prince Andrew has officially been closed.
The civil sex assault case against Prince Andrew has officially been closed. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

The civil sex assault case brought against Prince Andrew has officially been closed after he paid a financial settlement to his accuser, Virginia Giuffre.

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"Stipulation of Dismissal" court documents were filed on Tuesday, calling for the legal action to be dismissed, with Judge Lewis Kaplan signing the order shortly before 10pm UK time.

It comes after the Treasury confirmed that no taxpayer funds were used for the multi-million pound payment or for Andrew's legal fees.

A Freedom of Information request asked whether any money from the Sovereign Grant to the royal family or any other government funded money was used for either the out-of-court payment to Ms Giuffre or for Andrew's legal costs.

The Treasury's response said: "No public money has been used to pay legal or settlement fees you refer to."

The joint order - filed with the US District Court Southern District of New York - added that each party would pay their own costs and fees.

The legal document read: "Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(ii), and the parties' settlement agreement dated February 12 2022, Plaintiff Virginia L. Giuffre and Defendant Prince Andrew, Duke of York hereby stipulate to the dismissal of this action, with prejudice.

"Each party to bear her/his own costs and fees."

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Ms Giuffre was suing Andrew for sexual abuse, saying the duke had sex with her when she was 17 and had been trafficked by his friend, Jeffrey Epstein.

Andrew has always strenuously denied the allegations and went on to avert a looming trial by agreeing to the settlement last month.

He has since faced several calls to confirm how he funded the substantial out-of-court settlement - reported to be as much as £12 million - and whether the Queen or even the Prince of Wales contributed to the sum.

The monarch receives £21.7 million a year from the Duchy of Lancaster and is believed to use an unknown amount of this private income to fund Andrew's royal duties and part of his private life.

The private income is separate from the taxpayer-funded Sovereign Grant.

The Queen receives the Sovereign Grant to fund her official duties as head of state and to maintain the occupied Royal Palaces.

No member of the royal family receives a private income from the grant or any other public funds.

Buckingham Palace has yet to comment. Clarence House declined to comment as to whether Charles had helped his brother with the payment.