Prince Andrew is the subject of renewed sexual misconduct allegations following the release of the Netflix documentary, Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, which claims the royal visited the late tycoon’s private island and sexually abused a teenage girl.
Based on James Patterson’s 2016 book, the four-part series details decades of allegations of sexual abuse of women and underage girls and exposes the secret 2008 plea deal Epstein made with the government that allowed him to avoid serious punishment or be held accountable for his crimes. The series retraces Epstein’s steps from Florida to his private island in the British Virgin Islands (referred to as “Pedophile Island” by some) to New York City, where he was eventually arrested in 2019 and died in jail before he could be tried.
The harrowing docuseries features on-camera interviews with accusers, their lawyers and witnesses from around the world who detail years of sexual abuse allegations by Epstein as well as others among the rich and powerful, including the disgraced member of the royal family.
More specifically, Virginia Roberts Giuffre claims she was sex-trafficked to Prince Andrew when she was 17 years old.
“I was sexually abused by Prince Andrew,” she claims after first meeting the royal in March, 2001. “He knocked on the door, he came inside Ghislaine [Maxwell]’s townhouse, and we’re sitting there having tea. She goes to Prince Andrew, ‘How old do you think Virginia is?’ And he said, ‘17.’ And she’s like, ‘Oh, you’re right!’ He’s like, ‘My daughters aren’t far from your age. My daughters are a little bit younger than you.’”
Later that evening, “I asked Jeffrey to take a photo of me and Prince Andrew together,” Giuffre alleges. “Right after that photo was taken, I was sexually abused by Prince Andrew for the first time.”
According to the docuseries, Maxwell denies all allegations and maintains that she “had no involvement in or knowledge of Epstein’s alleged misconduct.”
Additionally, the Buckingham Palace issued a statement: “It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of contact or sexual relationship with Virginia Roberts.”
In November 2019, Prince Andrew sat down for an on-camera interview with the BBC where he spoke out against the allegations. “I can tell you, categorically, I don’t remember meeting her at all,” he said, adding, “I’ve said consistently and frequently that we never had any sort of sexual contact whatsoever.”
“I think it’s been universally agreed. It was one of the worst mea culpas ever known to man,” The Palm Beach Post journalist Jane Musgrave says in the docuseries. “I mean, if people didn’t think he was guilty before, after his interview, I think people thought that something had happened.”
Following the controversial interview, Prince Andrew stepped down from royal duties. “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein,” he said in a statement at the time. “His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathize with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required.”
In addition to Giuffre’s accusations, Steve Cully, who worked on Epstein’s island from 1999 until 2005, claims seeing Prince Andrew with the 17-year-old.
“Jeffrey hung out with a lot of powerful and well-known figures, both politically and financially, and I mean, British royalty,” Cully alleges. “Probably around 2004, I saw Prince Andrew. He was at the pool. He was with, at that time, an unknown girl to me. She was young. She didn’t have any top on. They were engaged in foreplay. He was grabbing her and grinding against her.”
He says later that he believes Giuffre was the topless girl he remembers seeing the royal with at the time.
Now living in Queensland, Australia, Giuffre is one of the women who came forward with accusations against Epstein and spoke out on-camera in the docuseries. “Someone had to put their hand up and say like, ‘He can’t just get away with this,’'' she says of what allegedly happened between her and Prince Andrew.