Virginia Giuffre, one of the accusers of the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, sued Prince Andrew, the Duke of York in a New York court on Monday, alleging sexual abuse, Reuters reported. She has alleged that Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her and battered her when she was 17.
The civil complaint against Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, stated that he “forced Plaintiff, a child, to have sexual intercourse” with him “against her will.”
Giuffre sued Andrew under the Child Victims Act, a New York state law that allows child sexual abuse victims to “pursue claims against their abusers, even if the abuse occurred decades earlier,” read the report.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” Giuffre said in a statement. “The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions.” She added, “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.”
In July 2019, Epstein was charged with sex trafficking and exploiting several girls and women. Andrew is said to have been linked to Epstein, who died by suicide in his cell in 2019, while awaiting trial.
As per the complaint, Giuffre was a victim of Epstein’s sex-trafficking and abuse from 2000 to 2002, starting from when she was 16. Epstein kept her as a “sex slave” and forced her to have sex with Andrew at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of late media baron Robert Maxwell, she said in her complaint.
She added that Andrew also abused her at Epstein’s mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and on a private island that Epstein owned in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Andrew, who stepped down from his royal duties in 2019, denied the sexual abuse allegations.
“I can absolutely, categorically tell you it never happened,” Andrew said during an interview with the BBC. “I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
Giuffre’s lawsuit against Prince Andrew seeks compensatory and punitive damages.