Prince Andrew was sued on Monday in a New York court by a woman who claims that the British monarch sexually assaulted her when she was 17 – two decades ago.
Virginia Giuffre filed a civil complaint against Queen Elizabeth’s second son with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, alleging that she had been trafficked into sex labor by the late Jeffrey Epstein.
A spokesperson refused to comment on Andrew’s behalf.
“Prince Andrew forced Plaintiff, a child, to have sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew against her will,” according to Giuffre’s (formerly Virginia Roberts) complaint.
In a 2019 interview, Prince Andrew told the BBC that he had no memory of meeting Giuffre, and denied claims of sexual abuse.
Andrew, 61, is the most prominent figure who has been linked to Epstein, who was charged with sexually exploiting dozens of girls and women by Manhattan federal prosecutors in July 2019.
Epstein committed suicide while awaiting trial on August 10, 2019. Prosecutors later revealed that Andrew had refused to cooperate in their investigation against Epstein.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” Giuffre said in a statement. “The powerful and 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 to reclaim one’s life by speaking out and demanding justice,” she said.
Giuffre claims that she was trafficked by Epstein from 2000 to 2002, starting when she was only 16.
She claims that Prince Andrew forced her to have unwanted sexual interactions at the London residence of Ghislane Maxwell, longtime associate of Epstein.
Giuffre also recalled being abused by Andrew at Epstein’s mansion on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, as well as on Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The complaint suggests that Giuffre “was compelled by express or implied threats” issues by Epstein, Maxwell, and Andrews to perform sexual acts with the Prince.
“Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her,” the complaint said.
The suit accuses Andrew of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress and seeks compensatory and punitive damages.
Giuffre issues the suit against Andrew under the Child Victims Act, a state law in New York that allows for children victims to take action against their abusers, even if the abuse occurred decades prior.