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Prince Andrew is being sued for sexual assault. One of Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime accusers, Virginia Giuffre, sued Prince Andrew on Monday, saying he sexually assaulted her when she was 17, according to court documents obtained by ET.
Lawyers for Giuffre filed the lawsuit in a federal court in Manhattan on Monday. In a statement, Giuffre said the lawsuit was brought under the Child Victims Act and alleges that she was trafficked to Prince Andrew and later sexually abused by him.
"I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me," she said in the statement. "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 continued. "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."
Prince Andrew became the subject of renewed sexual misconduct allegations following the release of the 2020 Netflix documentary, Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich, which claims the royal visited the late tycoon’s private island and sexually abused a teenage girl. The four-part docuseries was the first time Giuffre shared publicly that she was sex-trafficked to Prince Andrew when she was 17.
“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.”
“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.”