Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the alleged victim of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew in federal court in New York on Monday.
She accused British royalty of sexually abusing her at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion and elsewhere in 2001 when she was under the age of 18, according to court records. Prince Andrew has denied having sex with her.
“If he doesn’t do it now, it would allow him to escape any responsibility for his actions,” Giuffre’s attorney, David Boies, told ABC News, the US news network. reported.
He added: “And Virginia is committed to trying to avoid situations in which rich and powerful people escape all responsibility for their actions.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. Giuffre accuses Andrew of sexual assault and intentionally inflicting emotional distress.
“Twenty years ago, Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position and connections allowed him to abuse a frightened and vulnerable girl with no one to protect her. It is time for him to be held accountable, ”according to the lawsuit.
In late 2019, Prince Andrew told BBC Newsnight that he never had sex with Giuffre, saying: “It didn’t happen.”
He said he “doesn’t remember” ever meeting her and told an interviewer that there are “a number of things that are wrong” in Giuffre’s account, which he alleges the meeting happened in 2001.
“I can tell you absolutely categorically that it never happened,” Andrew said. According to the lawsuit, the prince abused Giuffre on multiple occasions when she was under 18 years old.
She said that on one occasion, the prince sexually abused her in London at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell, when Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew forced her to have sex with the prince against her will.
On another occasion, Prince Andrew sexually abused the plaintiff at Epstein’s New York mansion, according to the lawsuit.
ABC reported that a British spokesman for Prince Andrew told the company that he would not comment on the lawsuit.
Monday’s lawsuit was filed shortly before a New York state law expires that allows people who allege they were sexually abused as children to file a lawsuit despite the potential lockdown that statutes of limitations might otherwise impose. , ABC noted.
Giuffre has previously alleged that the late Epstein, who died in August 2019 awaiting trial in New York for federal child sex trafficking offenses, flew her to New York when she was 17 years old to have sex with Prince Andrew, something the prince has repeated and vehemently. denied.
Epstein’s ex-girlfriend and business partner, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, is in jail in New York awaiting trial on charges of procuring underage girls for Epstein. He had previously been convicted of sex crimes against minors in Florida and was arrested in New Jersey in July 2019 and taken to New York to face new charges. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty.
Giuffre gave the following statement to ABC News: “I am holding Prince Andrew responsible for what he did to me. The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held accountable for their actions. I hope that other victims see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but one can claim his life by speaking out and demanding justice. “
The statement continued: “I did not make this decision lightly. As a mother and wife, my family comes first. I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates. But he knew that if he did not continue with this action, he would be disappointing them and the victims everywhere. “
Prince Andrew was named in a 2015 court docket by an alleged Epstein victim, who was not named at the time, but has since come forward to identify himself as Giuffre, in a civil case brought by women who say they were exploited by Epstein, a billionaire who was convicted in Florida of soliciting sex with a minor after a controversial plea deal with prosecutors.
She claimed that she was forced to have sex with Andrew in London, New York and on Epstein’s private Caribbean island.
The accusations have prompted a series of denials on behalf of and by the prince of any wrongdoing with underage girls, including the fact that he had sex with an underage Giuffre.
Giuffre is now 38 years old and lives in Australia. Her court file on Monday was filed under the Child Victims Act, she said, to allege that she was trafficked to Prince Andrew and sexually abused by him.
Giuffre said she “feared death or physical injury to herself or another person and other repercussions for disobeying” Epstein, Maxwell and the prince because of their “powerful connections, wealth and authority,” the lawsuit states, while adding that Andrew knew her. age at that time.