NEW YORK — A woman who accused the late Jeffrey Epstein of sex trafficking and abuse has filed a lawsuit against Britain’s Prince Andrew, claiming the royal sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager.
According to The Associated Press, the civil suit, filed Monday in the federal district court in Manhattan, says Virginia Giuffre was 17 when Andrew sexually abused her multiple times about 20 years ago. One of the alleged incidents occurred at the London home of Epstein’s ex-girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, who had previously lured Giuffre to Epstein for sexual abuse, the lawsuit claims.
“On one occasion, Prince Andrew sexually abused plaintiff in London at Maxwell’s home,” the lawsuit says. “During this encounter, Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew forced plaintiff, a child, to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will.”
The other incidents occurred at Epstein’s New York mansion and on his private island, Little St. James, the lawsuit alleges.
“During each of the aforementioned incidents, plaintiff was compelled by express or implied threats by Epstein, Maxwell and/or Prince Andrew to engage in sexual acts with Prince Andrew, and feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew due to their powerful connections, wealth and authority,” says the lawsuit, which seeks “compensatory, consequential, exemplary and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial.”
The lawsuit comes two years after authorities found Epstein, who was facing sex-trafficking charges, dead from an apparent suicide in his Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10, 2019. He was 66.
Maxwell, 59, remains in jail on sex-trafficking charges, which she has denied, the AP reported. Her trial is slated for November.
On Monday, Giuffre, now 38, released the following 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,” the statement read, according to the AP.
“I did not come to this decision lightly. 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.”
Although Andrew, now 61, has not yet commented publicly on the new lawsuit, he has previously denied sexually assaulting Giuffre, telling the BBC in a controversial 2019 interview: “I can absolutely, categorically tell you it never happened.” He added that he doesn’t recall meeting her, even though a photo of the two together is included in the lawsuit.
– The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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