NEW YORK (AP) – One of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew of England on Monday, putting into legal context the repeated public allegations of the member of the British monarchy, including that he sexually assaulted her when she I was 17 years old.
Virginia Giuffre’s attorneys filed the complaint in the same federal court in Manhattan that formally charged Epstein with sex trafficking. The financier took his life a month later, at age 66, in the federal cell where he awaited the date of his trial.
Giuffre has repeatedly accused Epstein, his ex-partner Ghislaine Maxwell and Andrés, but the lawsuit marks the first time he has directly confronted the prince in a formal setting. The complaint also increases public relations pressure on the member of the monarchy, even if it is beyond the reach of the courts.
Through a statement, Giuffre said that “he held Prince Andrew responsible for what he did to me.”
“The rich and powerful are not exempt from accountability for their actions. I hope that other victims see that one does not have to live in silence and fear, and recover their lives by raising their voices and demanding justice.
“I did not make this decision lightly,” he added. “As a mother and wife, my family comes first – and I know that these actions will make me the target of further attacks from Prince Andrew and his representatives – but I knew that if I did not take this action, I would disappoint them and other victims.” .
At the end of 2019, Prince Andrew told the BBC’s Newsnight program that he never had sex with Giuffre. “That never happened,” he said.
He assured that he “does not remember” having met her and told the interviewer that there are “several things that are not right” about Giuffre’s story, who assures that the meeting occurred in 2001.
“I can absolutely and categorically say that that never happened,” Andrés declared.
The interview was heavily criticized, with some accusing Andrés of being inconsiderate of Epstein’s victims. Soon after, the prince resigned from his royal duties.
Giuffre has claimed for years that Maxwell recruited her when she was 17 and that she was the victim of sexual abuse by Epstein and Maxwell between 1999 and 2002.
According to the complaint, in which an unspecified compensation for damages is requested, the prince abused her on several occasions when he was not yet 18 years old.