One of Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime accusers sued Prince Andrew on Monday, saying he sexually assaulted her when she was 17.
Lawyers for Virginia Giuffre filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court.
In a statement, Giuffre said the lawsuit was brought under the Child Victims Act to allege she was trafficked to him and sexually abused by him.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” she said. “The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one’s life by speaking out and demanding justice.
“I did not come to this decision lightly,” she said. “As a mother and a wife, my family comes first — and I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates — but I knew if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down.”
Giuffre gestures during an interview on the BBC Panorama program that aired Dec. 2, 2019. Giuffre says she was a trafficking victim made to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17. (BBC Panorama/The Associated Press) Allegations not proven in court
None of the allegations against Prince Andrew has been proven in court.
In late 2019, he told BBC Newsnight that he never had sex with Giuffre, saying, “It didn’t happen.”
He said he has “no recollection” of ever meeting her and told an interviewer there are “a number of things that are wrong” about Giuffre’s account, which alleges the encounter occurred in 2001.
“I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened,” Andrew said.
According to the lawsuit, the prince abused Giuffre on multiple occasions when she was under the age of 18.
It said that on one occasion, the prince sexually abused her in London at the home of Epstein’s girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, when Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew forced her to have sexual intercourse with the prince against her will.
On another occasion, Prince Andrew sexually abused Giuffre in Epstein’s New York mansion, the lawsuit said.
Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges in Manhattan federal court, where she faces trial in November.
Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell are seen in New York in 2005. Giuffre, who had accused Epstein of sex crimes, alleges in her lawsuit that on one occasion at Maxwell’s home in London, Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew forced her to have sex with the prince against her will. (Patrick McMullan via Getty Image)
Epstein, 66, was found dead in a federal jail in Manhattan in August 2019, a month after he was arrested on sex trafficking charges. New York City’s medical examiner ruled his death a suicide.
As part of its continuing probe into Epstein and his encounters with women and teenage girls, Manhattan federal prosecutors formally requested to speak with Prince Andrew.
The request, similar to issuing a subpoena, was made under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, an agreement between the two countries to share evidence and information in criminal cases.