Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Virginia Giuffre Files Lawsuit Against Prince Andrew for Rape
Nearly two years from the date of Jeffrey Epstein’s death in prison, one of the most outspoken accusers against the mysterious billionaire has filed a lawsuit against Epstein’s friend, Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, for rape.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre filed a suit in federal court in Manhattan on Monday, claiming that Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, sexually abused her when she was 17 years old.
Previously, Giuffre has repeatedly made allegations against Prince Andrew, along with Epstein and his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, but the new lawsuit marks the first time she has taken her accusations against the royal to a formalized legal setting.
Giuffre is one of the most prominent Epstein accusers, having appeared in the Netflix docuseries, “Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich,” which was released on the streaming service in May 2020. She is the woman featured in the now-infamous photo of Prince Andrew with his arm around the waist of a minor, as Maxwell stands behind smiling. (Giuffre, who is now 38, was a teenager in the photo.)
In a disastrous “BBC Newsnight” interview that aired in November 2019, Prince Andrew, who is now 61, was asked about the picture where he is allegedly photographed with Giuffre. During the interview, the British royal denied all allegations regarding Giuffre, claiming he has “no recollection” of ever meeting her, and insisted he never had sex with her, saying, “It didn’t happen.”
“I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened,” Prince Andrew said, amid swirling allegations that he had sex with a teenage Giuffre at one of Epstein’s parties in 2001.
Variety has reached out to legal representatives for The Duke of York regarding Monday’s sexual assault lawsuit.
At the time, the trainwreck BBC interview made matters worse for the Prince Andrew, who showed little concern for Epstein’s sex abuse and sex trafficking victims during the TV sit-down, saying that he did not regret his friendship with the late financier. Following the interview, the British royal announced he’d be withdrawing from public duties.
In today’s lawsuit, obtained by Variety, Giuffre says Prince Andrew sexually abused her on multiple occasions when she was a minor, and claims she was threatened by either Prince Andrew, Epstein or Maxwell to engage in sexual acts with the royal. She is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
The lawsuit says that Giuffre “feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying” Prince Andrew, Epstein or Maxwell, due to their “powerful connections, wealth, and authority.” The suit also claims that the royal knew Giuffre’s age, based on his communications with Epstein and Maxwell, but abused her anyway “for the purpose of gratifying his sexual desires.”
The suit states that on one occasion, Prince Andrew sexually abused her in Maxwell’s home in London when the trio forced her to have sexual intercourse against her will. On another occasion, the suit claims that Giuffre and another victim were sexually abused by the prince in Epstein’s New York City mansion when they were forced by Maxwell to sit on the royal’s lap. And another time, the suit alleges that the prince sexually abused Giuffre on Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Variety has reached out to Giuffre’s lawyer for additional comment.
Prince Andrew is currently embroiled in a battle with U.S. authorities over his willingness to cooperate and help with the sex trafficking investigation into Epstein.
After he had said he would cooperate with an investigation in late 2019, FBI agents and federal prosecutors in New York asked to interview Prince Andrew, but the royal failed to cooperate, according to the United States attorney, who publicly called out the prince last year. “To date, Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” prosecutor Geoffrey S. Berman said at a news conference outside Epstein’s Upper East Side townhouse in January 2020.
In 2020, Blackfords LLP said the firm was brought on to represent the royal in “his desire to provide cooperation to the U.S. authorities regarding the victims of the late Jeffrey Epstein, should those authorities request his assistance.”
Epstein died in a New York jail on Aug. 10, 2019, while he was awaiting trial on conspiracy and child sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell, meanwhile, was charged this past March with sex trafficking of a minor.
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