Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged victim of sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has sued Prince Andrew, The Guardian reports. Giuffre filed a lawsuit against the 61-year-old prince in federal court in New York on Monday.
In a statement shared with People magazine, Giuffre said, “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.”
Meanwhile, in a seperate statement, Giuffre’s attorney, David Boies, told America’s 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.”
According to the lawsuit, “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 Guardian reports Giuffre has previously alleged that the late Epstein, who committed suicide in his jail cell in New York in August 2019, flew her to New York when she was 17 to have sex with Prince Andrew — something the prince and the British royal family have continuously denied.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” Giuffre said in a statement. “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.
“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.”
Before his suicide in August 2019, Epstein was being held on sex trafficking charges from the month before. Epstein had been convicted in 2008 of procuring an underage girl for prostitution, but prosecutors believed that he had sexually abused dozens of other teenage girls.
His death came just days after a lawsuit from one of his alleged victims was unsealed, naming Prince Andrew and more of his high-profile former friends. After the allegations were made public, an official statement was released by the palace, which read, “His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”
However, due to backlash, Prince Andrew was forced to step back from royal duties. In a statement at the time, Prince Andrew said that in the days following his Newsnight interview (in which he said he didn’t regret his friendship with Epstein) it had become clear to him that his association with the late billionaire, who he last saw in 2010, had become a major distraction to the royal family’s work and that of the charities and organisations he supported.
“Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future and she has given her permission,” Prince Andrew said in the statement. “I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure. I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives.”