A woman who claims she was sexually abused by Prince Andrew has issued legal proceedings against the Duke of York.
Virginia Giuffre, who lives in Australia, alleges that while under the age of 18 years old she was abused by the senior royal while at disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s Manhattan home and at another location.
Prince Andrew, 61, has always emphatically denied the allegations by Giuffre, even appearing on BBC Newsnight in 2019 to answer questions regarding any involvement in her abuse.
During the interview, he said: "I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever. It just never happened."
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."
Giuffre has brought proceedings against Prince Andrew under the US "Child Victims Act", according to The Mirror.
The new lawsuit from Giuffre, 38, comes as a New York state law, which allows alleged child sexual abuse victims to take up civil claims, is due to run out.
Had 10 years passed since the alleged crime then the statute of limitations would have prevented civil action.
Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies said: "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."
Of the New York allegation her suit states: "During this encounter, Maxwell forced Plaintiff, a child, and another victim to sit on Prince Andrew’s lap as Prince Andrew touched her. During his visit to New York, Prince Andrew forced Plaintiff to engage in sex acts against her will.
"On another occasion, Prince Andrew sexually abused Plaintiff on Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands, Little St. James," it adds.
Boies wrote in the suit Guiffre "feared death or physical injury to herself" if she disobeyed Epstein and Maxwell’s orders.
The mum-of-two is seeking compensation and punitive damages over the allegations.
In a statement, she 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."
She went on: "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."
Jefferey Epstein killed himself in his prison cell in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking offences.
The Daily Star has contacted Buckingham Palace for a response to the news but is yet to hear back.
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.
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