Saturday, January 22

Virginia Giuffre, alleged victim of Jeffrey Epstein, sues Prince Andrew for sexual abuse

(CNN) — Virginia Roberts Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew for alleged sexual abuse, according to federal court documents filed Monday.

Giuffre, an alleged victim of Jeffrey Epstein, has previously said publicly that she was forced to perform sexual acts with Prince Andrew, telling the BBC in 2019 that she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with her friends, including the Duke of York, when he was a minor.

Buckingham Palace denied his allegations in a statement to CNN at the time, saying “It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and unsubstantiated.”

In a BBC interview in November 2019, Prince Andrew said that he had never met Giuffre and suggested that a photo of the two could have been tampered with.

One photograph appears to show Prince Andrew with Jeffrey Epstein’s accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre and, in the background, Ghislaine Maxwell.

In her lawsuit, Giuffre alleges that Prince Andrew sexually abused her at the invitation of Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell when she was a minor and that the cases of alleged sexual abuse occurred at Maxwell’s London home and Epstein’s Manhattan home. and on the private island of Epstein in the US Virgin Islands.

“Prince Andrew committed sexual assault and battery on Plaintiff when she was 17. As such, Prince Andrew is liable for assault and intentionally inflicting emotional distress under New York common law. The harm to Plaintiff has been severe and durable, “the lawsuit states.

CNN has reached out to representatives of Prince Andrew for comment. CNN also reached out to an attorney for Maxwell to comment on the allegations against him in the lawsuit.

Giuffre accuses Prince Andrew in the demand to know her age and to know that she was a victim of sex trafficking who was forced to participate in sexual acts with him. Giuffre said he feared disobeying Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew “because of their powerful connections, wealth and authority,” court documents state.

Former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman said in January 2020 that Prince Andrew had not cooperated with attempts to interview him about Epstein.

“To date, Prince Andrew has not provided any cooperation,” Berman said at the time.

Federal prosecutors requested an interview in June 2020 with Prince Andrew as part of their investigation into the alleged sex trafficking ring that was once operated by Epstein, a source told CNN at the time.

Sigrid McCawley, Giuffre’s attorney, told CNN in a statement that “the filing of this complaint demonstrates that regardless of power, privilege, or even being a prince, no one is above the law in America and all perpetrators of abuse must be held accountable. “

Giuffre is seeking a payment for damages “in an amount to be determined at trial,” as well as attorneys’ fees and other additional reparations “that the Court deems fair and appropriate,” according to the lawsuit.

Epstein was charged with child sex trafficking and conspiracy to participate in child sex trafficking charges in July 2019, of which he pleaded not guilty. He was found dead in the cell at his federal detention center in Manhattan the following month.

Maxwell was indicted in 2020 for her alleged role in the recruitment, grooming and sexual abuse of girls under the age of 14, and later on sex trafficking charges. She has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

CNN’s Amir Vera and Lauren Kent contributed to this report.

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