One of Jeffrey Epstein's longtime accusers sued Prince Andrew on Monday, saying he sexually assaulted her when she was 17.
Lawyers for Virginia Giuffre filed the lawsuit in Manhattan federal court.
In a statement, Giuffre said the lawsuit was brought under the Child Victims Act to allege she was trafficked to him and sexually abused by him.
"I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me," she said. "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.
"I did not come to this decision lightly," she added. "As a mother and a wife, my family comes first — and I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates — but I knew if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down."
Prince Andrew with Virginia Roberts, now Giuffre, in 2001. (Photo / File)
In late 2019, Prince Andrew told BBC Newsnight that he never had sex with Giuffre, saying: "It didn't happen."
He said he has "no recollection" of ever meeting her and told an interviewer there are "a number of things that are wrong" about Giuffre's account, which alleges the encounter occurred in 2001.
"I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened," Andrew said.
According to the lawsuit, the prince abused Giuffre on multiple occasions when she was under the age of 18.
Virginia Roberts holds a photo of herself at age 16, when she says Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein began abusing her. (Photo / Getty Images)
It said that on one occasion, the prince sexually abused her in London at the home of Ghislaine Maxwell when Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew forced her to have sexual intercourse with the prince against her will.
On another occasion, Prince Andrew sexually abused the plaintiff in Epstein's New York mansion, the lawsuit said.
Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges in Manhattan federal court, where she faces trial in November.
Epstein, 66, took his own life in a federal jail in Manhattan in August 2019, a month after he was arrested on sex trafficking charges.