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Prince Andrew is being sued by Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who is accusing the royal of abusing her when she was 17 years old.
Virginia filed a lawsuit against the Duke of York, 61, on Monday, 9 August, in New York, over allegations he abused her at Epstein's Manhattan mansion and another location in 2001, according to court documents obtained by The Guardian.
The lawsuit is accusing Prince Andrew of sexual assault and "intentional" emotional distress while claiming "that she was a sex-trafficking victim".
Her lawsuit was filed under New York State's 'Child Victims Act', which was introduced in 2019 to ensure survivors of childhood sexual abuse can pursue justice. The law is due to expire on 14 August.
Prince Andrew has always denied any allegations that he had sexual contact with Virginia.
"It didn't happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever," he previously told BBC Newsnight.
David Boies, Virginia's lawyer, told ABC News of the lawsuit: “If she doesn't do it now, she would be allowing him to escape any accountability for his actions.
“And Virginia is committed to trying to avoid situations where rich and powerful people escape any accountability for their actions.”
Virginia is seeking unknown amounts of compensation and damages over the allegations.
“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. It is long past the time for him to be held to account,” the lawsuit is said to state.
In a statement, mum-of-two Virginia, who now lives in Australia, said: "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 hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but one can reclaim her life by speaking out and demanding justice.
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"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.
“But I knew that if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down.”
OK! Online has approached both Prince Andrew and The Queen's representatives for further comment.
Virginia first accused Prince Andrew of sexual abuse in 2014 in public court filings, as part of a case against Epstein. She also claimed that she was instructed by both Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, 59, to have sex with the Duke, but Buckingham Palace denied it all.
The Royal Family
In a previous statement, the Palace said: "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 without foundation."
In a later statement, Prince Andrew said: "I continue to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein.
"His suicide has left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims, and I deeply sympathise with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure.
"I can only hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives. Of course, I am willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."
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If you have been affected by this story, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org.
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