Prince Andrew has been accused of sexual abuse by Jeffrey Epstein-accuser Virginia Giuffre in a civil trial in the US. Here are all the accusations made against the Duke of York
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The Duke of York has been thrust into the spotlight once more after the sentencing of Ghislaine Maxwell.
The infamous socialite Maxwell was found guilty of recruiting and trafficking underage girls to be sexually abused by her ex-lover, the late billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince Andrew first met Epstein in 1999 through Epstein’s then-girlfriend Maxwell. Over the next year, the friendship between the three was widely reported in the UK press.
Allegations against Epstein first surfaced in 2005, and an arrest warrant was issued against him for procuring a minor for prostitution and solicitation of a prostitute.
Though Prince Andrew said he cut ties with his former friend in 2006, he later visited the financier in December 2010.
He later said in his 2019 Newsnight interview that the purpose of the visit was to end the friendship.
What are the accusations against Prince Andrew?
Virginia Roberts – now known by her married name Giuffre – began a legal battle against Prince Andrew in the US on August 10, 2021, accusing him of sexually abusing her at Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion when she was 17, a minor under US law.
In court documents, Ms Giuffre alleged that the duke sexually assaulted her on three occasions causing her “significant emotional and psychological distress and harm”.
In a 2019 BBC interview, Giuffre claimed that she was introduced to Prince Andrew by Epstein and Maxwell. The 38-year-old recounted that was told by Maxwell that she had to “do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey”.
According to Giuffre’s allegations, she had sex with the duke for the first time at Maxwell’s house in Belgravia in 2001. She alleged that the second time was at Epstein’s mansion in New York, and the third at Epstein’s private island, Little St James, in the US Virgin Islands.
Ms Giuffre also claimed in the court documents that she was forced into sex by explicit or implicit threats by Epstein, Maxwell, and/or Prince Andrew, stating that the duke knew her age and that she was a sex-trafficking victim.
She is filing the case under New York’s Child Victims Act, which allows survivors of childhood sexual abuse to pursue a case which otherwise would have been barred because too much time had passed. Prince Andrew is not facing any legal action in the UK.
What was Prince Andrew’s response to the allegations against him?
Prince Andrew has consistently denied all the allegations against him.
In the 2019 BBC Newsnight interview, the duke claimed he has no memory of ever meeting Virginia Giuffre, adding that the her claims of the London meeting, nightclub visit and sex at a house in Belgravia “didn’t happen”.
He also said that on the date she claims to have met him, he was looking after his children, taking Princess Beatrice to a party in Pizza Express in Woking and spending the evening at home.
However, he could not explain the photo of him with his arm around Ms Giuffre, with Ms Maxwell in the background.
The prince’s lawyers have said that Ms Giuffre agreed in court in 2009 not to sue anyone else connected to Epstein when she settled her damages claim against the billionaire sex offender.
This agreement “releases the duke and others from any and all potential liability,” according to the lawyers.
Ms Giuffre’s lawyers have agreed to release the confidential agreement to the duke’s team calling it “irrelevant to the case”.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.