Years after coming forward with her account of how Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her as a member of Jeffrey Epstein’s inner circle, Virginia Giuffre has filed a lawsuit against the royal family member.
Monday’s suit, filed in a federal court in New York, accuses Prince Andrew of sexually abusing Giuffre when she was under 18, and seeks damages for the “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” according to ABC News.
“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,” the lawsuit says. “It is long past the time for him to be held to account.”
The specter of a suit has been looming over Prince Andrew since Epstein’s death, when Giuffre, now 38, made clear that she wasn’t going to go away. Giuffre, among Epstein’s most outspoken accusers, has given multiple bombshell interviews about Prince Andrew and included her rape allegations against him in previous legal filings.
In her 2019 interview with BBC Panorama, Giuffre described going out to a London nightclub called Tramp with Prince Andrew in 2001, after being introduced to him by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell. She said she was repulsed by him—he was sweating excessively and dancing embarrassingly, she recalled—but she knew Epstein and Maxwell expected her to “keep him happy.” After the nightclub, Giuffre said Maxwell instructed her to “do for Andrew what [she did] for Jeffrey.” When they arrived to Maxwell’s home she did as she was told.
A cache of court documents unsealed last year also included statements from Giuffre alleging that she’d been assaulted by Prince Andrew in London as well as New York, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, at one of Epstein’s mansions.
“The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions,” Giuffre told ABC News through her lawyers on Monday. “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,” she continued. “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.”