Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a longtime accuser of deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, accusing him of sexual abuse.
In the suit, filed on Monday in New York federal court, Giuffre accused the 61-year-old prince of sexually abusing her at Epstein’s Manhattan home when she was under the age of 18, and of intentionally inflicting emotional distress. She is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions,” Giuffre said in part, in a statement to media. “I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but one can reclaim her life by speaking out and demanding justice.”
Giuffre’s attorney, David Boies, said in a statement to ABC News: “If she doesn’t do it now, she would be allowing him to escape any accountability for his actions. And Virginia is committed to trying to avoid situations where rich and powerful people escape any accountability for their actions.”
The suit also alleges that she was abused by Andrew on several other separate occasions, but “feared death or physical injury to herself or another.”
As a minor, Giuffre was initially recruited to give massages before being made to “engage in a variety of sexual acts” for Epstein, according to the lawsuit. Giuffre was not only “regularly abused” by Epstein but “lent out” to other powerful, wealthy men for sexual purposes as well, among them being Prince Andrew.
The suit comes almost two years after Epstein died in a New York jail while he was awaiting trial on conspiracy and child sex trafficking charges. It also comes just days before it could be barred by statutes of limitations.
In a 2019 BBC interview, Andrew denied the allegations. “I’ve said consistently and frequently that we never had any sort of sexual contact whatever,” the prince said, when questioned about Giuffre’s allegations against him.
Giuffre, now a 38-year-old mother living in Australia, first accused the royal of sexual abuse in public court filings in December 2014.