Bebeto Matthews / AP
NEW YORK – One of Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime accusers sued Prince Andrew on Monday, alleging he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 years old.
Virginia Giuffre’s attorneys filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court.
In a statement, Giuffre said the lawsuit was filed under the Child Victims Act to allege that she was trafficked with him and sexually abused by him.
“I am holding Prince Andrew responsible for what he did to me,” he said. “The powerful and 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 to recover life by speaking out and demanding justice.
“I did not make this decision lightly,” he added. “As a mother and 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 that if I did not continue with this action, I would let them and the victims everywhere down “.
In late 2019, Prince Andrew told BBC Newsnight that he never had sex with Giuffre, saying: “It didn’t happen.”
He said he “does not remember” meeting her and told an interviewer that there are “several things that are wrong” in Giuffre’s account, which he alleges that the meeting occurred in 2001.
“I can tell you absolutely categorically that it never happened,” Andrew said.
According to the lawsuit, which sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, the prince abused Giuffre on multiple occasions when he was under 18 years of age.
She said the prince once sexually abused her in London at Ghislaine Maxwell’s home 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 when Maxwell forced Giuffre and another victim to sit on Andrew’s lap while he touched her, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also alleges that Andrew sexually abused Giuffre on the private island of Epstein in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
During each of the alleged acts, Epstein, Maxwell and Andrew gave Giuffre “express or implied threats” to engage in sexual acts with the prince, according to the lawsuit.
She said she “feared death or physical injury to herself or another person and other repercussions for disobeying” the trio because of their “powerful connections, wealth and authority,” the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit added that Andrew knew his age at the time based on communications with Epstein and Maxwell. He said he went ahead anyway “for the purpose of satisfying his sexual desires.”
Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to the sex trafficking charges in federal court in Manhattan, where he faces trial in November.
Epstein, 66, took his life in a federal jail in Manhattan in August 2019, a month after being arrested on sex trafficking charges.
As part of their ongoing investigation into Epstein and his encounters with women and teens, federal prosecutors in Manhattan formally requested to speak with Andrew.
The request, similar to the issuance of a subpoena, was made under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, an agreement between the two countries to share evidence and information in criminal cases.