Queen Elizabeth II’s second son, Prince Andrew has been sued for alleged sexual assault in a New York court on Monday.
Gatekeepers News reports that the Duke of York, Prince Andrew was sued by Virginia Giuffre who alleged that he sexually assaulted and battered her two decades ago when she was 17 years old.
Giuffre who says she was trafficked for sex by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, filed the civil complaint against Andrew in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Monday.
The spokesperson for Andrew, Duke of York, however, declined comment.
According to the complaint by Giuffre, who was previously known as Virginia Roberts, “Prince Andrew forced Plaintiff, a child, to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will.”
In a 2019 interview with the BBC, the Duke of York said he has no recollection of meeting Giuffre, and denied her claim of sexual abuse.
The 61-year-old Andrew Prince is one of the most prominent people linked to Epstein, who was charged in July 2019, by Manhattan federal prosecutors for sexually exploiting dozens of girls and women.
On August 10, 2019, Epstein – a registered sex offender, killed himself at the age of 66 in a Manhattan jail while awaiting trial. Prosecutors later stated that Andrew had not cooperated with their probe.
Giuffre in a statement said, “I am 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.”
Spokespeople for Andrew’s lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment.
Giuffre stated she was only 16 when she became a victim of Epstein’s sex trafficking and abuse from 2000 to 2002.
According to her complaint, Andrew forced her to have unwanted sexual intercourse at the London home of Epstein’s longtime associate Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite.
She added that the Prince also abused her at Epstein’s mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and a private island owned by Epstein in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The complaint further stated that Giuffre in the fear of repercussions for disobedience said, “was compelled by express or implied threats” by Epstein, Maxwell, or Andrew to engage in sexual acts with Andrew.
The complaint added, “Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her.”
According to Giuffre, Epstein brought her to London to meet Andrew and kept her as a “sex slave” with help from Maxwell – the daughter of late British media mogul Robert Maxwell.
The complaint which was also signed by Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies accused Andrew of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It, however, seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Meanwhile, lawyers for Ghislaine Maxwell, who is not a defendant in the lawsuit, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In November 2019, Andrew said 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.
Andrew said, “I can absolutely, categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever.”
Andrew who called Epstein’s behaviour “unbecoming,” said he did not regret their friendship.
Soon after Andrew’s interview in 2019, he stepped down from royal duties, as charities and other organisations distanced themselves from him.
Monday’s complaint was accompanied by a widely circulated photo of Giuffre and Andrew, where both were smiling, standing next to each other, with Giuffre wearing a pink tank top.
Giuffre explained that the photo was taken at Maxwell’s home before Andrew’s alleged abuse. The Prince, however, stated that he had no recollection of the photograph being taken, and suggested the photograph may have been altered somehow.
Giuffre, who has previously made her claims in television interviews, is suing Andrew for “exemplary, and punitive damages.”
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Maxwell previously settled a separate civil defamation lawsuit by Giuffre.
Maxwell has separately pleaded not guilty to engaging in sex trafficking and grooming underage girls for Epstein to abuse. Her trial in Manhattan could begin in November.
Giuffre sued Andrew under the Child Victims Act, a New York state law allowing many child abuse victims to pursue claims against their alleged abusers, even if the abuse occurred decades earlier.
Meanwhile, a window to bring many such claims expires this week.