An alleged victim of Jeffrey Epstein has sued Prince Andrew in a federal court in New York, claiming she was trafficked and forced to have sex with both men while under the age of 18.
Virginia Giuffre, 38, claims that when she was a teenager, the Queen’s 61-year-old son abused her at Epstein’s New York City mansion, as well as in London and the US Virgin Islands, where the financier owned a private island.
“If she doesn’t do it now, she would be allowing him to escape any accountability for his actions,” Ms Giuffre’s attorney, David Boies told ABC News of the lawsuit.
The claims of Ms Guiffre have been strongly denied by Buckingham Palace.
“It is emphatically denied that [Prince Andrew] had any form of sexual contact or relationship with [Giuffre]. The allegations made are false and without any foundation,” the Palace said in a statement.
Ms Guiffre, who now lives in Australia and heads the anti-trafficking group Victims Refuse Silence, offered the following statement on Monday.
“Today my attorney filed suit against Prince Andrew for sexual abuse under the Child Victims Act. As the suit lays out in detail, I was trafficked to him and sexually abused by him.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. 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.
“I did not come to this decision lightly. As a mother and a wife, my family comes first - and I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates - but I knew if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down.”
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