“Ms. Giuffre’s complaint is neither ‘unintelligible’ nor ‘vague’ nor ‘ambiguous,'” Judge Lewis Kaplan wrote in the ruling. “It alleges discrete incidents of sexual abuse in particular circumstances at three identifiable locations. It identifies to whom it attributes that sexual abuse.”
Prince Andrew has denied the allegations and had moved to dismiss the suit. CNN has reached out to his attorneys for further comment.
The ruling sets up a dramatic series of legal proceedings for Queen Elizabeth II’s third child that could have major ramifications for Buckingham Palace. The long-running allegations against Andrew, 61, have already dramatically tarnished his public standing, and he stepped back from royal duties in late 2019.
Andrew has until July 14 to potentially answer questions about the case under oath, following a ruling made by Kaplan last year. If the case is not settled, Prince Andrew could face a trial date between September and December 2022.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment, saying, “We would not comment on what is an ongoing legal matter.”
Giuffre’s attorney Sigrid McCawley said the judge’s ruling is “another important step in Virginia’s heroic and determined pursuit of justice as a survivor of sex trafficking.”
The civil suit stems from the sprawling and disturbing allegations against Epstein, the wealthy sex offender who befriended a series of powerful men despite a sketchy history.
What the ruling means
Kaplan’s ruling Wednesday allowed the lawsuit to continue, but he did not determine the facts or validity of the case.
However, Giuffre’s attorney David Boies argued the settlement is irrelevant to her claim against the prince, noting Andrew did not know about it at the time and that it didn’t apply to him.
In the ruling, Kaplan wrote that both sides put forth “reasonable interpretations” of the settlement’s meaning.
“The agreement therefore is ambiguous. Accordingly, the determination of the meaning of the release language in the 2009 Agreement must await further proceedings,” he wrote.
In claims made prior to filing her lawsuit, Giuffre alleged that in 2001 Epstein brought her to London, where she was introduced to Prince Andrew and went dancing at a nightclub with Epstein, Maxwell and the Prince.
He claimed in the same interview that he could not sweat, due to a rare medical condition, and that on the night he is alleged to have had sex with Giuffre, he was in fact taking his daughter to a party at a Pizza Express restaurant in Woking, southwest of London.
Giuffre’s lawyers asked Andrew in court filings to provide documents proving both of those claims. Andrew’s team responded that he was unable to do so, because he has no documents proving a medical condition that prevents sweating, and could not identity anyone he encountered at the pizza restaurant.
CNN’s Lauren del Valle, Max Foster, Sonia Moghe, Rob Picheta and Kara Scannell contributed to this report.