Epstein accuser takes legal action against Prince Andrew

Lawsuit over alleged assault of 17-year-old filed in Manhattan federal court

Prince Andrew: one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers is taking legal action against him.  Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

Prince Andrew: one of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers is taking legal action against him. Photograph: Will Oliver/EPA

 

One of Jeffrey Epstein’s long-time accusers is taking legal action against the Duke of York, saying he sexually assaulted her when she was 17 years old.

Lawyers for Virginia Giuffre filed the lawsuit against Prince Andrew in Manhattan federal court.

In a statement, Ms Giuffre said the lawsuit was brought under the Child Victims Act to allege she was trafficked to him and sexually abused by him.

“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” she said.

“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 2019, the duke told BBC Newsnight that he never had sex with Ms Giuffre, saying: “It didn’t happen.”

He said he has “no recollection” of ever meeting her and told an interviewer there are “a number of things that are wrong” about Ms Giuffre’s account, which alleges the encounter occurred in 2001.

“I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened,” Andrew said.

The lawsuit alleges that the duke abused Ms Giuffre on multiple occasions when she was under the age of 18.

It alleges that on one occasion, the prince sexually abused her in London at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell.

On another occasion, the duke assaulted her in Epstein’s New York mansion, the lawsuit claims.

Maxwell (59) has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges in Manhattan federal court, where she faces trial in November.

Epstein (66) took his own life in a federal jail in Manhattan in August 2019, a month after he was arrested on sex trafficking charges. – AP