A woman who claims Jeffrey Epstein committed a "vicious, prolonged sexual assault" against her when she was 15 has called on Prince Andrew to come forward with information about the convicted sex offender.
The new accuser, who identifies herself as "Jane Doe 15", appealed to the Duke of York at a press conference on Monday, where she and the lawyer Gloria Allred announced her lawsuit against Epstein's estate. She is one of about a dozen women suing the late financier's estate for alleged sexual abuses.
“Prince Andrew, and any others that are close to Epstein, should come forward and give a statement under oath on what information they have,” Jane Doe 15 said.
Ms Allred said that she had called upon Andrew to “voluntarily meet with the FBI and prosecutors who are investigating this criminal case in New York, and also to provide his deposition under oath”.
Their entreaty comes in the wake of a bombshell BBC Newsnight interview in which Andrew was pressed on his friendship with Epstein – who killed himself in a Manhattan jail several months ago following his arrest on sex trafficking charges.
Andrew claims he met Epstein through Ghislaine Maxwell – the daughter of the media baron Robert Maxwell – who has been accused of serving as Epstein's procurer. Virginia Giuffre has claimed that Epstein flew her to London on his private jet around 2001, when she was 17-years-old. After dining and dancing, Ms Giuffre and the prince had a sexual encounter at Maxwell's Belgravia home, she has alleged. Andrew denies the claim. Ms Maxwell has also emphatically denied wrongdoing.
She said that after she returned home from New Mexico, an Epstein assistant invited her to his Virgin Islands home. She claimed the assistant said Andrew would be among the guests and added that she declined the invitation.
“Epstein took my sexual innocence,” the woman said during the presser.
The royal family did not immediately reply to a request for comment. The prince is not accused of wrongdoing in relation to Jane Doe 15 and claims to have severed ties with Epstein in 2010.
Court papers detail the alleged abuse.
Jane Doe 15 said she was lured into Epstein's dark world when she was in New York City on a school trip. She was permitted to visit her sister, who was a model in New York City, for one day. Jane Doe 15's sister, who knew Epstein, invited her to his town house, she claims.
Upon her arrival at his townhouse in the tony Upper East Side neighbourhood of Manhattan, his secretary allegedly began “grooming Jane Doe 15 to be used as Epstein’s sexual object – she took photos of Jane Doe 15, gave her an iPod, and told Jane Doe 15 that Epstein really wanted to meet her”. The secretary took down Jane Doe 15’s contact information, the lawsuit says.
Several weeks later, she claims the secretary emailed Jane Doe 15, saying "Epstein was excited by the photos and that he was very interested in [her]" – she and her sister were invited to a magic show in Las Vegas, and then to Epstein's New Mexico ranch.
For Jane Doe 15, who “grew up in a poor household in the Midwest”, the prospect of travel seemed “thrilling”. She convinced her mother to let her go on the trip. She then received ticket information from the secretary.
Following the show, the girl and her sister were taken to an airport, where they boarded Epstein’s private plane. Epstein was present “along with several young girls”, she claims.
Upon their arrival at the ranch, Jane Doe 15 and the others were told they could do whatever they wanted – such as riding horses or ATVs or using the hot tubs or pool.
At one point during her stay at the ranch, Jane Doe 15 says, she was asked to the main house and taken to Epstein’s bedroom, where he was allegedly wearing a bathrobe and demanded a massage. The girl says she sensed that Epstein wanted her to engage in sexual activity, “but she did not know what it was. Epstein seemed to get frustrated as a result.”
He then assaulted her with a device, according to court papers.
She says she left the ranch after three or four days.
A lawyer representing the executors of Epstein’s estate did not immediately respond to requests for comment. – Guardian