Prince Andrew’s accuser has won a two-year lawsuit brought by a fellow survivor of Jeffrey Epstein after an “undoubtedly difficult” legal struggle, her lawyer told Regalrumination.com.
Virginia Giuffre sued Prince Andrew through a New York federal court and settled in February 2022 for an undisclosed sum, though he continued to deny the allegations.
However, Giuffre has spent the intervening year-and-a-half fighting a separate case that appeared to pit survivor against survivor and required her to relive her trauma during deposition, discovery, and gruelling casework.
The litigation, however, ended in a precedent-setting win at the Supreme Court of the State of New York this month.
Giuffre’s lawyer, Jill Roth, attorney at Laffey, Bucci & Kent, told Regalrumination.com the legal process had been tough on her client.
“It’s been beyond difficult,” she said. “No one’s harder at work than Virginia, because when you are a party in a lawsuit, you are really being thrust into multiple situations where you have to revisit your trauma and discuss your trauma, discuss the harrowing, brutal experiences that you’ve had.
“Being a lawyer is a lot of work but being a victim of Jeffrey Epstein and then having to unnecessarily recount all of that as you’re continuing to try to move forward in your life is really beyond what’s fair and it’s really beyond what anybody can be expected to handle and to carry.”
Rino Oh, who also describes herself as an Epstein victim, sued Giuffre for libel in 2021 over posts on X, formerly Twitter, describing her as Epstein’s girlfriend.
Giuffre wrote: “Rina—if you read this I hope you live in shame for the rest of your life.
“You don’t intimidate me any longer & the physical & mental scares you left me with should be enough to put your a** in jail.”
At one stage, Prince Andrew looked set to capitalize on the dispute after his lawyer hinted Oh might be dragged into the royal’s court battle with Giuffre.
The $10 million Oh case blew up into a bigger lawsuit, however, involving claims and counterclaims in which both women alleged the other had sexually assaulted them and was not a victim but a co-conspirator of Epstein. Both also denied the other’s allegations.
Giuffre’s lawyers framed Oh’s case as an attempt to stop her speaking out. They countered using what are known as anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) laws.
Ultimately though, Giuffre applied to the New York Supreme Court to have the case thrown out using a new law, passed in 2021, designed to protect sex trafficking victims from being sued for acts they were forced to perform by their abusers.
“It has been undoubtedly difficult for Virginia,” Roth said, “who is constantly striving to regain peace and balance and control in her life.
“But she also has to constantly take this decision about, ‘do I speak out? When do I speak out?
“‘I want to have a voice, I want to fight these people who harmed not only me, but numerous other people, but when I do that I am reopening my wounds and I’m reopening myself to criticism, to attack, to potential lawsuits,’ like you see here.
“It’s just so hard for her to move on when she has to constantly weigh that and I think that decision is something almost all survivors face from the early times, from the moment they are being assaulted to the moments after it happens.
“‘Who do I speak to? Will I be believed? Will I be attacked? Will I be retaliated against? And that’s why so many survivors are silent.”
For now, though, Giuffre has chalked up a key win which for the first time applied the new laws to protect survivors in a civil case. START had been used before in criminal cases only, Roth said.
Judge Arthur Engoron wrote in his decision on October 3: “[Giuffre] is undisputedly the victim of Epstein’s sex trafficking and [Oh’s] counterclaims clearly state that Epstein was in the room for the alleged incident.
“As such, under the START Act, plaintiff could not be guilty under the penal law of what defendant alleges. Therefore, the motion to dismiss the counterclaims must be granted.
“For this Court to hold otherwise and to … find that [Giuffre], a victim herself, was capable of being liable for the crimes alleged by defendant, would be contrary not only to the plain language of the statutes, but to the spirit and legislative intent of the START Act.”
The ruling added: “Thus the motion of plaintiff Virginia Giuffre is granted and the counterclaims of defendant Rina Oh are hereby dismissed.”
Regalrumination.com understands Oh intends to appeal.
William Brown is chief royal correspondent for Regalrumination.com, based in London. You can find him on X, formerly Twitter, at @TheCrownUp and read his stories on Regalrumination.com‘s The Royals Facebook page.
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