Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Jeffrey Epstein’s original accusers, filed a lawsuit on Monday alleging she was sexually abused by Prince Andrew when she was 17 years old
Content warning: This article discusses sexual abuse of a minor.
If it seems like the horrors inflicted on Jeffrey Epstein’s many victims continue to be peeled back like the worst kind of onion, the latest allegations associated with him are sure to turn your stomach. Among the two dozen women who have come forward alleging sexual abuse at the hands of Epstein and his ilk, one survivor has now filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew, alleging that he sexually abused her on three separate occasions when she was 17 years old.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, now 38, filed a lawsuit on Monday in New York against Andrew, according to CBS News, explaining in a statement that she hopes to “[hold] Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me.” In 2019, Giuffre alleged in court that she was sexually trafficked to friends of Epstein, who died by suicide in prison on August 10, 2019, when she was underage. At the time, she said, “The reckoning must not end. It must continue. [Epstein] did not act alone, and we the victims know that.”
In a statement to CBS News, Giuffre said, “Today 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 confirmed that the acts of alleged abuse occurred on three separate occasions in 2001 and 2002, with one instance taking place at Epstein’s mansion in New York City, where Giuffre says Andrew forced her “to engage in sex acts against her will.” In a separate encounter in Andrew’s native London, the royal allegedly forced her to have sexual intercourse against her will.
In the lawsuit, Giuffre alleges that she’s suffered “substantial damages, including extreme emotional distress, humiliation, fear, psychological trauma, loss of dignity and self-esteem, and invasion of her privacy.”
“Twenty years ago Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her,” the lawsuit said. “It is long past the time for him to be held to account.”
As part of New York’s Child Victims Act, enacted in 2019, child sexual abuse survivors were given the ability to file claims against their abusers without a statute of limitations. The window for filed claims was slated to expire in 2020, but New York Governor Andrew Cuomo extended the deadline to August 14, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
David Boies, an attorney representing Giuffre, told CBS News that “justice here, for Virginia and for other victims, first and foremost, is vindication.”
“Part of what Virginia is doing, both through lawsuits like this and through the foundation that she’s established, is trying to make sure that what happened to her doesn’t happen to other young girls,” Boies added.
Hopefully Giuffre — and all the other survivors of abuse associated with Epstein — are given the tools they need to heal and the justice they deserve to move forward.