‘A story of being trafficked’: Prince Andrew’s accuser Virginia Giuffre has a right to be heard
This week, Virginia Giuffre filed a claim in New York, alleging the Duke of York sexually abused her at the London home of the convicted sex offender’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell when she was under 18 over 20 years ago. Like so many women who were victims of Jeffrey Epstein, many want her silenced. Her voice deserves to be heard
Virginia Giuffre, formerly Virginia Roberts, has frequently told her story. Giuffre claims she was trafficked by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein and forced to have sex with the Duke of York when she was a teenager.
Prince Andrew has categorically denied the claims, and when they first came to light in 2019, Buckingham Palace hastily released a statement.
“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.”
“This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked, this is a story of abuse”
She said the prince, Epstein, and his then-girlfriend, the socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, took her to Tramp nightclub in London, where the Prince asked her to dance.
When they had left the club, she explained that Ghislaine Maxwell gave her instructions.
“In the car, Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey and that just made me sick.
“I was just like grossed out from it, but I knew I had to keep him happy because that’s what Jeffrey and Ghislaine would have expected from me.”
Prince Andrew has frequently said he has no recollection of meeting Virginia Giuffre, nor of any photo being taken with her and he emphatically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with her
In an interview responding to the claims back in 2019, the Queen’s son said he “categorically” denied having any sexual contact with Giuffre, one of Jeffrey’s accusers, who was aged 17 at the time. The royal told Emily Maitlis: “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 knows what happened,” she continued. “I know what happened and there’s only one of us telling the truth, and I know that’s me.”
The accusations led to Prince Andrew withdrawing from his royal duties for “the foreseeable future.” He has yet to publicly comment on the new lawsuit, but the UK police have said they will review the claim.
With Jeffrey Epstein’s death, it seems that many associated with him would be happy to see the victims disappear into the shadows. Giuffre refuses to do so and with Ghislaine Maxwell due to be sentenced for her crimes, now is the time for her to stand up and fight for the justice she was denied for years.
An unnamed source close to Andrew’s brother, Prince Charles, was quoted in The Times as saying the heir to the throne views it as impossible for Andrew ever to return to public life because the accusation “raises its head with hideous regularity”.
It doesn’t look like the royals will be able to brush this one away.