Britain’s Prince Andrew is sued by US woman over alleged sexual abuse
Britain's Prince Andrew was sued in a New York court on Monday by an American woman who alleged that he sexually assaulted and battered her two decades ago when she was 17 years old.
Virginia Giuffre, who says she was trafficked for sex by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, filed a civil complaint against Andrew, Queen Elizabeth's second son, in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.
A spokesperson for Andrew, Duke of York, declined comment.
"Prince Andrew forced Plaintiff, a child, to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will," according to the complaint by Giuffre, who was previously known as Virginia Roberts.
The prince said in a 2019 interview with the BBC that he had no recollection of meeting Giuffre, and denied her claim of sexual abuse.
Andrew, 61, is one of the most prominent people linked to Epstein, who Manhattan federal prosecutors charged in July 2019 with sexually exploiting dozens of girls and women.
Epstein, a registered sex offender, killed himself at the age of 66 in a Manhattan jail on Aug. 10, 2019, while awaiting trial. Prosecutors later said Andrew had not cooperated with their probe.
"I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me," Giuffre said in a statement. "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," she said.
Spokespeople for Andrew's lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment.
Giuffre has said she was a victim of Epstein's sex trafficking and abuse from 2000 to 2002, starting when she was 16.
In her complaint, Giuffre said Andrew forced her to have unwanted sexual intercourse at the London home of Epstein's longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite.
Giuffre said Andrew also abused her at Epstein's mansion on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and on a private island that Epstein owned in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Andrew told the BBC in November 2019 that he could not have had sex with Giuffre at Maxwell's home because he had returned that night to his house after a children's party.
Soon after the BBC interview, Andrew stepped down from royal duties, as charities and other organizations distanced themselves from him.