A longtime accuser of deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew in Manhattan federal court, accusing the British royal of sexually abusing her when she was 17 years old.
Virginia Giuffre, 38, alleges Epstein and British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell exploited her when she was a minor and that Prince Andrew forced her to have sex with him. She filed a 15-page civil lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on Monday.
“Like other minor children who came before and after her, Plaintiff was initially recruited to provide massages, and thereafter to engage in a variety of sexual acts, for Epstein. Plaintiff was required to be on call for Epstein for sexual purposes and frequently traveled with him both nationally and internationally. Plaintiff was regularly abused by Epstein and was lent out by Epstein to other powerful men for sexual purposes,” Giuffre’s lawsuit states. “One such powerful man to whom Plaintiff was lent out for sexual purposes was the Defendant, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York. Prince Andrew was a close friend of Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite who spent years overseeing and managing Epstein’s sex trafficking network, and actively recruited underage girls, including Plaintiff.”
Giuffre’s lawsuit claims Prince Andrew “became a frequent guest in Epstein’s various homes around the world, including New York City where he sexually abused Plaintiff at Epstein and Maxwell’s invitation when she was a minor” and contends the royal “committed sexual assault and battery upon Plaintiff when she was 17 years old.” It also states he “is responsible for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress pursuant to New York common law.”
Prince Andrew, 61, has spent the last couple of years distancing himself from Epstein, who was arrested in July 2019 and charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy for allegedly abusing girls as young as 14. He pleaded not guilty to the charges before he was found dead in his Manhattan prison cell in August. His death was ruled as a suicide by the New York City medical examiner's office.
Queen Elizabeth II's second son, who enjoys the title of Duke of York, insisted he first met Epstein, who was 66 at the time, in 1999, although flight logs show the prince's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and their two daughters were with Epstein in the Bahamas in April 1998.
“At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness, or suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction,” Prince Andrew said in August 2019.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me," Giuffre said in a Monday 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."
Maxwell was arrested in the summer of 2020 on charges of conspiracy to entice minors, enticement of a minor, conspiracy to transport minors, transportation of a minor, and perjury. Federal prosecutors filed two additional sex trafficking charges against her in March. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to the charges and faces a trial set for the fall.
Prosecutors described Epstein’s yearslong efforts to “entice and recruit minor girls to engage in sex acts with him” as a “vast network of underage victims” when they arrested him in July 2019.
Even after his death, Epstein’s high-profile friendships — especially with Prince Andrew, former President Bill Clinton, President Donald Trump, and others — have come under increased scrutiny. Nearly 150 claimants received a total of $125 million as part of a sexual abuse compensation program funding relief to Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, according to the deceased hedge fund manager’s estate.
As Epstein helped her move through the New York City social scene, Maxwell insinuated herself with British royalty and brought Epstein along for the ride, helping him become friends with the Duke of York. Giuffre alleges Epstein and Andrew abused her when she was underage, accusing the prince of raping her at Maxwell’s home in London and Epstein’s homes in New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The prince said in 2019 he was “at a loss to be able to understand or explain” his dead friend’s “lifestyle.” The royal downplayed his closeness with Epstein, referring to their relationship as a “former association or friendship.” He claimed to be in the dark about any of Epstein’s alleged sex crimes involving underage girls, despite a friendship spanning well over a decade, repeated visits and stays at Epstein’s various homes, and flights on Epstein’s planes.
The prince said he met Epstein in 1999 and claimed he saw Epstein infrequently, “probably no more than only once or twice a year.” It was, he added, "a mistake and an error” to visit him in 2010 after his sex conviction.
But the claims of short and infrequent visits are belied by Andrew’s lengthy stays at Epstein’s homes, according to a Washington Examiner review of reports and flight logs. Andrew spent multiple days on Epstein’s private island in February 1999. In 2000, the two saw each other nearly a half a dozen times or more in the United Kingdom and the United States, with Andrew reportedly staying at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion multiple times.
Although Andrew acknowledged he stayed in "a number" of Epstein's residences, he didn't mention he also invited Epstein to royal residences such as Windsor Castle, Sandringham Estate, and Balmoral Castle.
During his late 2019 interview with the BBC, Andrew claimed he has no memory of meeting Giuffre and denied having sex with her, attempting to cast doubt on the veracity of a smiling picture of himself with his arm wrapped around Giuffre with Maxwell in the background.
Last year, the Justice Department invoked a legal cooperation treaty with the U.K. as it sought an interview with Andrew about Epstein.
Andrew’s team said in 2020 he was willing to talk while criticizing the Justice Department.
The Southern District of New York released a statement last year blasting the royal’s portrayal of the events, saying Andrew had “yet again sought to falsely portray himself to the public as eager and willing to cooperate with an ongoing federal criminal investigation into sex-trafficking and related offenses committed by Jeffrey Epstein and his associates, even though the Prince has not given an interview to federal authorities.”
Giuffre’s Monday lawsuit added: “After publicly feigning ignorance about the scope of Epstein’s sex-trafficking operation and sympathy for Epstein’s victims, Prince Andrew has refused to cooperate with U.S. authorities in their investigation and prosecution of Epstein and his co-conspirators. 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’s request for service was addressed to Prince Andrew at the Royal Lodge at Windsor Great Park.