An American woman who says she was forced to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew has appealed to Britons to take her side, saying that only she was telling the truth about a scandal that has engulfed the royal family.
Virginia Giuffre says she was trafficked by disgraced late US financier Jeffrey Epstein and forced to have sex with his friends, including the British prince, when she was 17 years old.
Andrew denies the allegations.
In an interview broadcast on Monday, Giuffre said she was brought to London in 2001 by Epstein and taken to meet the prince, one of three occasions when she says she had sex with Andrew.
“He knows what happened. I know what happened, and there’s only one of us telling the truth, and I know that’s me,” Giuffre told the BBC’s Panorama. “I implore the citizens in the UK to stand up beside me, to help me fight this fight, to not accept this as being OK. This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked, this is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys’ royalty.”
Andrew, 59, Queen Elizabeth III’s second son, has said he has no recollection of ever meeting Giuffre, who was previously named Virginia Roberts.
In response to Giuffre’s interview, a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman 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.”
Last month, the prince gave an interview himself to the BBC.
However, the interview was widely regarded as a disaster for him, provoking days of negative headlines and culminating in him stepping down from royal duties as charities and other organizations distanced themselves.
He said he regretted his “ill-judged” association with Epstein and that he had never seen anything suspicious during the time he spent with the financier.
However, he said the media blowback it had generated had become “a major disruption to my family’s work.”
Panorama said that lawyers for five of Epstein’s victims, who are suing his estate, want Andrew to give evidence in their court cases and that pre-trial subpoenas had been readied to serve on the prince if he visited the US.
Andrew has said he would speak to law enforcement agencies if required.
In her interview, which was recorded before the prince spoke to the BBC, Giuffre said she was taken to the Tramp nightclub in London by Epstein and his former associate Ghislaine Maxwell.
Andrew asked her to dance, she said.
“He is the most hideous dancer I’ve ever seen in my life. I mean it was horrible and this guy was sweating all over me, like his sweat was like it was raining basically everywhere,” she said.
Andrew said he has a medical condition that stopped him perspiring and cast doubt on the authenticity of a photograph from 2001 which showed him with his arm around Giuffre’s waist.
He said he did not remember the photo being taken and that he had never been upstairs in Maxwell’s house, where the image appeared to have been captured.
Giuffre told the BBC the picture was genuine and that she had given it to the FBI.
“The people on the inside are going to keep coming up with these ridiculous excuses. Like his arm was elongated or the photo was doctored, or he came to New York to break up with Jeffrey Epstein... I’m calling BS on this, because that’s what it is,” she said.
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