Virginia Giuffre, an alleged victim of Jeffery Epstein and advocate for sex trafficking victims, is now suing Prince Andrew for damages after accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was just 17 years old.
The lawsuit was launched through the Manhattan federal court in New York on Monday and claimed that Giuffre was trafficked to Ghislaine Maxwell’s (Epstein’s ex-girlfriend) London apartment in 2001, where she was forced to engage in sexual intercourse with the Prince. At the time of the event, Giuffre was also a minor. The lawsuit reads:
During this encounter, Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew forced Plaintiff, a child, to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will.
Prince Andrew denies sexual assault accusations
This is not the first time the accusation has been made against Prince Andrew, with the Queen’s son denying Giuffre’s claims. Back in 2019, the Duke of York told BBC Newsnight that he had ‘no recollection’ of ever meeting Giuffre:
It didn't happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.
Despite this, a notorious photo exists ofVirginia, Prince Andrew and Ghislaine Maxwell at Maxwell’s apartment; allegedly, the image was taken on the same night the act took place. However, Prince Andrew vehemently claims that the photo is fake.
In November 2019, soon after the interview and its subsequent negative coverage, Prince Andrew also stepped down from his royal duties.
The new lawsuit also details that Giuffre has also accused Prince Andrew of sexual assault on other occasions, including Little Saint James island and Epstein’s New York mansion. The suit detailed:
During this encounter, Maxwell forced Plaintiff, a child, and another victim to sit on Prince Andrew's lap as Prince Andrew touched her. During his visit to New York, Prince Andrew forced Plaintiff to engage in sex acts against her will.
‘I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me’
ABC has reported that a spokesperson for Prince Andrew told the news company that the Duke would not comment on the suit. The outlet also said Giuffre’s case comes shortly before the expiration of a New York law that allows people who claim to be victims of childhood sexual abuseto sue despite any limitations posed by the statutes of limitations.
Giuffre is now seeking damages for battery as well as the infliction of emotional distress. The driving force behind the nonprofit Victims Refuse Silence released a statement about the suit:
I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. 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.
She continued: ‘I did not come to this decision lightly.’
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.