Virginia Giuffre's lawyers filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal Court. Epstein was arrested criminally for sex trafficking one month before he committed suicide at age 66. He was placed in an adjoining federal jail and ordered to wait for trial.
Giuffre has made numerous allegations against Epstein, his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxill, and Andrew. However, this lawsuit marked the first time Giuffre confronted Andrew in such formal settings. Even though he is not within the reach of the courts, it increases public relations pressure on Epstein.
Giuffre stated that she would "hold Prince Andrew responsible for the things he did to my life."
"The rich and powerful are not exempted from being held accountable for their actions. Giuffre stated that he hopes other victims will realize that it's possible to not live in fear and silence, but to demand justice and reclaim their lives.
She added, "I didn't make this decision lightly." "As a mother, and wife, my family comes before mine -- and I know this action will expose me to more attacks by Prince Andrew's surrogates -- but, I knew that if I didn't pursue this action, it would be letting down victims all over the world."
Late 2019, Prince Andrew stated to BBC Newsnight that he had never had sex in public with Giuffre.
He claimed he doesn't remember ever having met her, and told interviewer that there were "a lot of things wrong" with Giuffre’s account. It alleges that the encounter took place in 2001.
Andrew stated, "I can categorically say that it never happened."
The interview was widely panned by critics who said Andrew seemed insensitive to Epstein's victims. The prince resigned from his royal duties.
Giuffre claims that Maxwell recruited her to abuse Epstein and Maxwell at the age of 17.
The lawsuit sought unspecified punitive and compensatory damages. It claimed that Giuffre was abused multiple times by the prince while she was younger than 18.
She said she "feared death or injury to herself or others and other repercussions for not obeying" the trio due to their "powerful connections and wealth, and authority."
It claimed that the prince had sexually assaulted her once in Maxwell's London home. Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew forced her against her will to have sexual intercourse.
The lawsuit stated that Maxwell also sexually assaulted Giuffre on another occasion in Epstein's New York home. Maxwell made Giuffre and another victim sit on Andrew's lap while he touched them, according to the suit.
The suit also claimed that Andrew sexually assaulted Giuffre on Epstein’s private island in U.S Virgin Islands.
The lawsuit stated that Andrew knew her age at the moment based on communication with Epstein, Maxwell and others. The lawsuit stated that he did not consent to the trial "for the purpose gratifying his sexual desire."
The Child Victims Act is a 2019 New York State law that allows victims to temporarily file legal claims for abuse that occurred while they were children.
Maxwell, 59 years old, has pleaded guilty to sex traficking charges in Manhattan federal Court. She will be tried in November. She is being held without bail. She was not able to respond to our requests for comment.
Manhattan federal prosecutors requested last year to meet with Andrew as part of an ongoing probe into Epstein's interactions with teenage girls and women.
Similar to issuing subpoenas, the request was made under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty. This agreement allows the two countries to exchange evidence and information in criminal cases. According to reports, the U.S. prosecutor made a formal request to interview Andrew through the British government.
Brad Edwards is a lawyer representing dozens of Epstein victims. He claims that the prince has never answered questions in civil lawsuits.
Edwards stated, "I have always had the impression that he has immunity, but he certainly behaves like that,"