Prince Andrew: Virginia Giuffre files lawsuit, alleging sexual abuse
Giuffre, an alleged victim of Jeffrey Epstein, has previously said publicly that she was forced to perform sex acts with Britain’s Prince Andrew, telling the BBC in 2019 that she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with his friends, including the Duke of York, when she was underage.Buckingham Palace denied her allegations in a statement to CNN at the time, saying “It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”In a November 2019 BBC interview, Prince Andrew said he had never met Giuffre and suggested that a photo of the two of them may have been doctored.
In her lawsuit, Giuffre alleges that Prince Andrew sexually abused her at both Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell’s invitation when she was a minor and that instances of alleged sexual abuse occurred at Maxwell’s home in London and at Epstein’s home in Manhattan and on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.
“Prince Andrew committed sexual assault and battery upon Plaintiff when she was 17 years old. As such, Prince Andrew is responsible for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress pursuant to New York common law. The damage to Plaintiff has been severe and lasting,” the lawsuit states.
CNN has reached out to representatives for Prince Andrew for comment. CNN has also reached out to an attorney for Maxwell for comment on the allegations against her in the lawsuit.
Giuffre accuses Prince Andrew in the lawsuit of knowing her age and of knowing that she was a sex-trafficking victim being forced to engage in sexual acts with him. Giuffre said she feared disobeying Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew “due to their powerful connections, wealth, and authority,” court documents state.
Former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said in January 2020 that Prince Andrew had not cooperated with attempts to interview him about Epstein.
“To date Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation,” Berman said at the time.
Federal prosecutors requested an interview in June 2020 with Prince Andrew as part of its investigation into the alleged sex trafficking ring once operated by Epstein, a source told CNN at the time.
Sigrid McCawley, an attorney for Giuffre, told CNN in a statement that “the filing of this complaint proves that irrespective of power, privilege or even being a prince, no one is above the law in the United States and all perpetrators of abuse should be held accountable.”
Giuffre is seeking damages “in an amount to be determined at trial,” as well as attorneys’ fees and other further relief “as the Court may deem just and proper,” according to the lawsuit.
Epstein was indicted for sex trafficking of minors and conspiracy to engage in sex trafficking of minors charges in July 2019, which he pleaded not guilty to. He was found dead in his Manhattan federal detention center cell the next month.Maxwell was charged in 2020 for her alleged role in recruiting, grooming and sexually abusing underage girls as young as 14, and later, with sex trafficking charges. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
CNN’s Amir Vera and Lauren Kent contributed to this report.