Jeffrey Epstein's most prominent accuser has filed a federal suit against Prince Andrew of the U.K. alleging that Andrew sexually abused his daughter when she was 17.
Virginia Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Andrew alleging that he abused her sexually on two occasions in London and New York, and on Epstein’s private island in U.S Virgin Islands around 20 years ago, when she was just 18 years old.
According to the suit, Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, his long-time associate, forced Giuffre into sexual acts with Andrew. He also claimed that Giuffre knew that she was a victim of sex trafficking.
"Twenty-years ago, Prince Andrew's power, position, wealth, and connections allowed him to abuse an frightened, vulnerable girl with no one to protect her. The lawsuit, filed Monday in New York by Prince Andrew, seeks damages for battery as well as intentional infliction emotional distress.
Giuffre has previously made the claims in court papers and on TV interviews, including on NBC's Dateline. The lawsuit she filed in the U.S. District Court for Southern District of New York is a new avenue in her quest to hold Andrew (now 61) accountable for her claims that he sexually assaulted her as a teenager.
Giuffre stated that the rich and powerful are not immune from being held accountable for their actions. "I hope other victims will see that it's possible to not live in fear and silence, but to take back your life by demanding justice and speaking out."
The Child Victims Act of New York gives victims a one year window to file a suit for sex abuse damages. The law was in effect from August 2019, and victims were required to file claims by the next Saturday.
Andrew representatives declined to comment on Monday night, London time.
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Giuffre has denied that the prince had sex before.
Virginia Giuffre and Prince Andrew with Ghislaine Maxwell in Prince Andrew's London home.
Andrew stated that he didn't remember ever meeting Giuffre, despite a photograph widely circulated proving otherwise. He also said that he was in a restaurant with his daughter the day Giuffre claims they had a sexual encounter.
Epstein, 66 years old, committed suicide while in New York prison awaiting charges for sex trafficking.
His alleged circle of supporters is still under investigation. Geoffrey Berman (the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York) stated that investigators from his office as well as the FBI had reached Prince Andrew and his lawyers in January 2020 but have not received any assistance.
Monday's lawsuit claims that Giuffre was 16 at the time Epstein began preying upon her and lending her money to his powerful friends.
The complaint also claims that she didn't consent to Andrew engaging in sex acts and that Andrew knew that she was underage at the time, "based on communications between Epstein and Maxwell."
Maxwell is currently being held in Brooklyn by Maxwell's attorneys while she awaits trial on charges of sex trafficking. She has pleaded guilty.
Giuffre's lawyer proposed an agreement on July 19 that would have allowed her postpone any lawsuit. "Again Prince Andrew stonewalled, disregarding plaintiff's letters and emails without any reply or resolution. This made this action urgent now."
Giuffre has previously spoken out about her claims of having sex with Andrew in London, and Epstein's private island in a Dateline interview that aired in 2019.
Giuffre recounted a story about Epstein's New York City home, in which she said that Andrew instructed her and another girl to sit on Andrew’s lap. Giuffre stated that he proceeded to touch one of their breasts.
A witness who was there said to NBC News that she still remembers the incident.
Giuffre stated that Andrew's encounters stood out due to his title.
He was a prince. He was well-known. He is a prince. It just stuck out in me," she said. "I grew-up watching Disney the same way as most little girls, and I thought that princesses and princes were the best people in the world. He wasn't."