Virginia Giuffre, an alleged victim of deceased sex offender Jeffery Epstein, filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew on Monday, accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was 17.
Giuffre, who lives in Australia, said the lawsuit was brought under the Child Victims Act to allege she was trafficked to Prince Andrew and sexually abused by him nearly twenty years ago.
In a statement, Giuffre said: “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.
“I did not come to this decision lightly,” she added. “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.”
In late 2019, Prince Andrew denied the allegations in an interview with the BBC and even said had never known her.
“I’ve said consistently and frequently that we never had any sort of sexual contact whatever,” he said.
According to Giuffre’s lawsuit, the Prince abused her on multiple occasions when she was under the age of 18, including one occasion at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell in London, and another occasion in Epstein’s New York home.
Prince Andrew has come under intense scrutiny for his association with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, but to date has not cooperated with the criminal investigation into Epstein’s inner circle.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, accusing Andrew of sexual assault and the inflection of emotional distress.
Giuffre first made allegations of sexual abuse against Prince Andrew in public court filings in December 2014, in a case brought by alleged Epstein victims against the US Department of Justice.
If you or someone you know needs help or advice call the national sexual assault, family and domestic violence counselling service 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can call Lifeline on 131 114.