Britain’s Prince Andrew was sued on Monday by Jeffrey Epstein’s longtime accuser for having allegedly sexually assaulter her when she was 17.
The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court.
Giuffre has repeatedly made her allegations against Epstein, his onetime girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, and Andrew, but the lawsuit was the first time she has directly confronted Andrew in such a formal setting. It steps up public relations pressure on the prince, even if he remains beyond the reach of the courts.
In a statement, Giuffre said she was “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,” Giuffre said.
“I did not come to this decision lightly,” she added. “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.”
In an interview in late 2019, Prince Andrew said he never had sex with Giuffre, and he had “no recollection” of ever meeting her regarding their alleged encounter in 2001.
Giuffre has long said Maxwell recruited her at age 17 to be sexually abused by Epstein and Maxwell from 1999 to 2002.
According to the lawsuit, which sought unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, the prince abused Giuffre on multiple occasions when she was a minor and during each of the alleged acts she was given “express or implied threats” by Epstein, Maxwell, and/or Andrew”.
It said that on one occasion, the prince sexually abused her in Maxwell’s London home when Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew forced her to have sexual intercourse with the prince against her will.
On another occasion, the prince sexually abused Giuffre in Epstein’s New York mansion when Maxwell forced Giuffre and another victim to sit on Andrew’s lap as he touched her, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit also alleged that Andrew sexually abused Giuffre on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands.
Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges in Manhattan federal court, where she faces trial in November. She is held without bail. Her lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.