One of Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime accusers on Monday filed a lawsuit against Britain’s Prince Andrew, saying she was sexually assaulted by him on three separate occasions when she was 17.
In a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, said that about two decades ago, Queen Elizabeth’s second son sexually assaulted and battered her.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” she said in a 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 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.”
She alleged that Epstein and his longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell repeatedly abused her sexually and trafficked her to various men, including Andrew. The Duke of York in a 2019 BBC interview claimed that he had “no recollection” of ever meeting Giuffre, despite photographic evidence, and denied all allegations against him.
“I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened,” he said at the time.
“I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
In her lawsuit, Giuffre alleges that she was sexually abused by Andrew, 61, on three occasions between 2001 and 2002, including once at Epstein’s New York City mansion, where he forced her “to engage in sex acts against her will.”
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has accused Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse, speaks in New York on Aug. 27, 2019. (Bebeto Matthews/AP Photo)
The lawsuit, which sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, says that Giuffre has suffered “substantial damages, including extreme emotional distress, humiliation, fear, psychological trauma, loss of dignity and self-esteem, and invasion of her privacy” because of his alleged abuse.
“Twenty years ago Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her,” the lawsuit says.
“It is long past the time for him to be held to account.”
Audrey Strauss, acting United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, speaks during a news conference to announce charges against Ghislaine Maxwell for her alleged role in the sexual exploitation and abuse of multiple minor girls by Jeffrey Epstein in New York City on July 2, 2020. (John Minchillo/AP Photo)
Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to trafficking charges and faces trial in Manhattan federal court in November.
Epstein was found dead in a New York federal jail at the age of 66 on Aug. 10, 2019, while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. His death was ruled a suicide by hanging.
Andrew was sued by Giuffre under the Child Victims Act, a New York state law that allows survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file claims even if the abuse occurred decades earlier. The window for such claims expires on Aug. 14.