Andrew is the Queen’s second son and he has been hidden from public life since November 20 last year following the fallout from his disastrous Newsnight interview about his friendship with convicted sex offender Epstein.
In a 2019 interview with the BBC, Andrew denied the allegations. “I’ve said consistently and frequently that we never had any sort of sexual contact whatever,” the prince said, responding to a question about allegations from Giuffre.
He also said he would assist the FBI with their investigation but, a year later and he hasn’t.
Now today news has emerged from America of a alleged victim of deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew of Britain on Monday.
Virginia Giuffre is accusing the 61-year-old royal of sexually abusing her at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion and elsewhere when she was under the age of 18, according to the complaint.
He claimed in the interview the picture of him and Virginia together with Ghislane Maxwell also was photoshopped.
Andew and Epstein
Footage released by the Mail on Sunday in August of 2010 showed Prince Andrew inside the financier’s Manhattan mansion around the same time.
The prince told the BBC that he regretted staying at Epstein’s house during the visit, saying he “let the side down” by doing so.
Pressed on reports that many young girls were coming and going from the house at the time, he said: “I never saw them.”
Epstein’s house was like a “railway station” with “people coming in and out of that house all the time”, he added.
Prince Andrew’s connection to the convicted sex offender did attract criticism at the time.
After several days of newspaper reports on the Epstein connection in spring of 2011, Prince Andrew was hit with a further blow when Sarah Ferguson admitted having accepted £15,000 from Epstein, to help pay off her debts.
n 2015 the duke was named in court papers as part of a US civil case against Epstein.
Prince Andrew was not party to the proceedings but was identified when a motion was filed in the court, as part of the evidence.
According to the Guardian, one of Epstein’s accusers, Virginia Roberts – now Virginia Giuffre – said she was ordered to give the prince “whatever he required”.
The lawsuit, filed by Virginia Roberts Giuffre in federal court in New York, comes almost two years to the day that Epstein died in a New York jail while he was awaiting trial on conspiracy and child sex trafficking charges.
The legal action also comes just days before the expiration date of a New York state law that permits alleged victims of childhood sexual abuse to file civil claims that might otherwise be barred by statutes of limitations.
“If she doesn’t do it now, she would be allowing him to escape any accountability for his actions,” Giuffre’s attorney, David Boies, chairman of Boies, Schiller Flexner, told ABC News. “And Virginia is committed to trying to avoid situations where rich and powerful people escape any accountability for their actions.”
The lawsuit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages and accuses Andrew of sexual assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
“Twenty years ago, Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her.
It is long past the time for him to be held to account,” the lawsuit states.
A U.K.-based spokesperson for Prince Andrew said there would be no comment on the suit.
“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.
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 said, via her lawyers, said in a statement.
“I did not come to this decision lightly.
As a mother and a wife, my family comes first.
I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates.
But I knew that if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down,” the statement said.
Giuffre, now a 38-year-old mother living in Australia, first accused the prince of sexual abuse in public court filings in December of 2014, in a case brought by alleged Epstein victims against the U.S. Department of Justice.
That lawsuit challenged Epstein’s lenient deal with federal prosecutors in Florida in 2008.
Giuffre alleged in those court submissions that she was directed by Epstein and his longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell to have sex with Andrew on three occasions in 2001, in London, New York and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Her claims were met then with vehement denials from Maxwell and from Buckingham Palace on behalf of the prince, the second son of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.
Andrew hasn’t helped
The most recent letter to the prince’s presumed legal team was sent last month and warned that a lawsuit would soon be filed unless the prince agreed to enter into discussions for an alternative resolution, according to the court filing Monday.
“If she had simply failed to sue now, it would have validated the stonewalling tactics that Andrew and his advisers have employed,” Boies said.
For nearly a decade, the prince has been under scrutiny for his association with Epstein, a multi-millionaire financier and the subject of state and federal investigations since the mid-2000s for allegedly recruiting underage girls for illicit massages and sex.
Prince Andrew, who said he’d first met Epstein in 1999, became embroiled in the controversy in late 2010 when he was photographed walking with the convicted sex offender through New York’s Central Park shortly after Epstein’s sentence ended in Florida.
Epstein was charged again, in July 2019, in a two-count federal indictment for child sex trafficking and conspiracy for alleged crimes in New York and Florida between 2002 and 2005.
He died in prison on Aug. 10 from an “apparent suicide.”
His family dispute this and so did a second autopsy.
Following those new charges against Epstein, the prince again found himself under scrutiny from the press and prosecutors for his association with Epstein both before and after the wealthy financier was designated as a sex offender.
He claimed to have no memory of ever meeting her and suggested that a widely-circulated photograph of him with his arm around the waist of then 17-year-old Giuffre, allegedly taken by Epstein in the London home of Maxwell in 2001, might have been doctored.
The prince also contended that he had an alibi for the date of the alleged encounter, claiming he was home with his daughter, Beatrice.
“I was at home,” the prince said. “I was with the children, and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at, I suppose, sort of 4 or 5 in the afternoon.
And then, because the Duchess was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away the other one is there.
I was on terminal leave at the time from the Royal Navy, so therefore I was at home.”
The prince’s interview was harshly criticized in the British press and, within days, he released a new statement conceding that his “former association” with Epstein had become a major distraction for the royal family, and he stepped back from official duties.
Giuffre’s court filing Monday contains a copy of the photograph of her standing beside Andrew, along with references to flight records from Epstein’s private planes that indicate Giuffre was a frequent passenger to destinations in the United States and abroad while she was under 18.
Maxwell, who is currently awaiting trial on charges she aided Epstein’s alleged abuse of four underage girls, denied recruiting Giuffre for sexual activities with Epstein and denied instructing Giuffre to have sex with the prince or other men.
“I never saw any inappropriate underage activities with Jeffrey ever,” Maxwell said.
The legal loophole that led to Bill Cosby being released from prison also applies to Ghislaine Maxwell, her lawyers have claimed most recently.
In a letter to a judge, they said an agreement struck by the late Jeffrey Epstein in 2007, giving him immunity from prosecution, covered her too.
Maxwell, 59, is accused of sex trafficking and other offences connected to her relationship with Epstein, a financier and convicted paedophile.
Cosby, 83, walked free on Wednesday after Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court said he should not have been charged in the first place.
Referring to a 2005 agreement not to charge the actor with drugging and assaulting Temple University employee Andrea Constand, the court said that meant a legal case should never have happened a decade later.
Maxwell, who has pleaded not guilty and is set to go on trial later this year, faces up to 80 years in prison.