Prince Andrew pledges to stop denying Giuffre's claims
As part of the settlement, Andrew can no longer deny his sexual relationship with Virginia Giuffre, and Giuffre is obligated to remain silent.
On Tuesday, Prince Andrew reached a settlement with Virginia Giuffre, a victim of sex trafficking whom Epstein forced to have sex with the prince at least 3 times.
With Andrew's reputation tarnished, his settlement also includes not dismissing accusations that he had molested Giuffre, who was 17 at the time of the assault. Giuffre, on the other end, is obliged to remain silent after the settlement, according to the Telegraph.
Media expects that the prince will be disappearing from public life, with his last official appearance expected in March at the memorial ceremony of his father, Prince Philip, after which he will avert all public events, including the Royal Ascot.
The settlement, which came just a few weeks before Prince Andrew would testify under oath, will require the prince to pay Giuffre £12 million ($16.3 million), which will go to charity and to victims who don't have a 'celebrity name' attached to their case. Part of that amount however will be donated by Queen Elizabeth II.
Public money for a private settlement?
However, there are questions about whether the prince is going to be using public money to pay for the settlement.
Andy McDonald, an MP for Middlesbrough, raised this concern and asserted that it will be brought up in parliament.
"This is a person of very high profile involved in a case where his position of authority and privilege has been allegedly abused and it is an enormous sum of money. We don’t know the precise figure but there is a risk that this will be at the public’s expense so we need to have that resolved. We need to know exactly where this money is coming from", McDonald told BBC.
Mark Stephens, an international reputation lawyer from the Howard Kennedy law firm, said Prince Andrew will only be damaging his reputation further if he does not disclose with what money he's going to pay the settlement.
"I think there’s equal concern that it comes from the royal family and what they want to see is that Andrew is paying out of his own pocket – that he’s personally being financially punished here," Stephens said.
Just yesterday, it was revealed that the Metropolitan police in London launched a probe against Andrew's brother, Prince Charles, on the count of handing Saudi billionaire UK citizenship and knighthood in exchange for donations.