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Image / Editorial

‘A story of being trafficked’: Prince Andrew’s accuser Virginia Giuffre speaks out

by Jennifer McShane
02nd Dec 2019

Amidst all the drama of the royal scandal and Prince Andrew, little has been written from the point of view of the woman who has made the allegations. 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 given her first interview for British television as part of a special hour-long Panorama. Her interview includes her account of how she was introduced to Prince Andrew.

She implored the British public to “stand up beside me to help me fight this fight”.

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, with Buckingham Palace releasing a statement on Monday evening.

“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.”

“Help me fight this fight”

“I implore the people in the UK to stand up beside me, to help me fight this fight, to not accept this as being okay.”

“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.”

She said the prince, Epstein and his then-girlfriend, the socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, took her to Tramp night club 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.”

Related: ‘I refuse to let this man win’: The women who will not be silenced by Jeffrey Epstein

Virginia’s interview on the programme, entitled The Prince and the Epstein Scandal comes after Andrew spoke about his links to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein during a BBC Newsnight interview last month.

The Queen’s son “categorically” denied having any sexual contact with Ms 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.”

Related: Jeffrey Epstein’s death means his victims are left without justice

“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 have led to Prince Andrew withdrawing from his royal duties for “the foreseeable future”.

Main photograph: @nypost

Related: Why the Jeffrey Epstein conspiracy theories risk overshadowing what really went on

Related: Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew: Behind the first royals to consciously uncouple