New York, Aug 9 (EFE).- Virginia Giuffre, an alleged victim of the American businessman and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has filed a civil lawsuit in New York against Prince Andrew accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was a minor.
“My attorney filed suit against 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,” Giuffre told People magazine.
In 2019, Giuffre claimed to have been introduced to the Duke of York by Epstein, after which the British royal forced her into sexual intercourse a total of three times between 1999 and 2002, when she was a minor.
Prince Andrew has denied Giuffre’s allegations against him.
The alleged victim said on Monday that she wants Prince Andrew to be held accountable for his actions, and that the “rich and powerful” are not exempt from responsibility.
“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.
Giuffre said she did not make the decision to sue lightly, out of fear of the legal action making her a target of “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,” she said.
After being publicly accused by Giuffre, Prince Andrew denied having any sexual contact with her in an interview with the BBC in November 2019.
“It didn’t happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened,” he insisted on several occasions throughout the interview.
Prince Andrew admitted having been a guest multiple times in Epstein’s residence and maintained a controversial friendship with the businessman, but the British royal said he never suspected Epstein’s inappropriate behaviour.
The prince claims he met Epstein through his friend Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been arrested and is awaiting trial in New York over sex trafficking charges.
Due to the lawsuit, the Duke of York could be forced to testify under oath and hand over private correspondence, text messages and emails related to the case. EFE