Will Prince Andrew face justice after Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s “abuse” lawsuit?
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an alleged victim of Jeffrey Epstein, has filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew citing sexual abuse. In 2019, Giuffre had publicly announced that she was sexually abused by Prince Andrew when she was a minor. However, he had denied all claims and remarked that he had never met Virginia Roberts Giuffre before.
According to court documents, Giuffre filed a civil lawsuit against the Duke of York on Monday. Despite photographic evidence of Giuffre and Prince Andrew meeting one another, both Buckingham Palace and the Duke of York remain that he has never met her.
Giuffre’s claims against Prince Andrew
Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s case alleged she was a victim of sex trafficking as a minor at the hands of Epstein who would force her to perform sex acts with his friends, including Prince Andrew. She also asserted Prince Andrew was aware that she was a victim of sex trafficking, underage, and did not give consent to any of the sexual acts performed.
It has been reported in the lawsuit that Prince Andrew was invited by Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell to abuse Giuffre at Maxwell’s home in London, Epstein’s Manhattan residence, and on Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
“Prince Andrew committed sexual assault and battery upon Plaintiff when she was 17 years old. As such, Prince Andrew is responsible for battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress pursuant to New York common law. The damage to Plaintiff has been severe and lasting,” the lawsuit states.
The document continues, “In this country no person, whether president or prince, is above the law, and no person, no matter how powerless or vulnerable, can be deprived of the law’s protection.”
“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.”
Prince Andrew’s official statement
When Virginia Roberts Giuffre first claimed she was abused by the prince in 2019, the Duke of York swiftly denied all allegations. In a 2019 interview with BBC, Prince Andrew asserted that he had never met Giuffre and that the picture of them together may be altered.
“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 recounted to BBC Newsnight.
In a later statement, he reported: “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 sympathize 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,” he added. However, Giuffre’s legal team claims that Prince Andrew had not cooperated in the slightest.
Despite his statement, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey Berman announced in January 2020 that Prince Andrew had not cooperated with any efforts to interview him about Epstein. At the time, Berman reported, “To date Prince Andrew has provided zero cooperation.”
Could Prince Andrew face jail time?
Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s civil lawsuit declares that the victim is seeking monetary damages. Experts have stated that these cases rarely make it to trial – rather, they result in a settlement, complainant ceasing action, or the case discontinued by a judge.
Melissa Murray, a law professor at New York University, revealed the Duke of York “could be on the hook for significant money damages”. She informed the BBC, “This is not about whether or not Prince Andrew will go to jail – he has no criminal exposure from this particular case.”
Instead, Prince Andrew and his legal team may be more intimidated by Ghislaine Maxwell’s upcoming trial in November. Murray remarked, “With this civil suit pending and her about to go to trial on these criminal charges, there may be even more pressure – and indeed temptation – for her to co-operate with federal prosecutors. . .”
Murray added that Maxwell may “perhaps provide more information about all of the individuals who were in the orbit of Jeffrey Epstein and that could, allegedly, include the prince himself.”