Woman tells BBC she was forced at 17 to have sex with Prince Andrew
An American woman who says she was forced to have underage sex with Prince Andrew has appealed to Britons to take her side, saying that only she is telling the truth about a scandal that has engulfed the royal family.
Virginia Giuffre says she was trafficked by the disgraced late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein and forced to have sex with his friends, including Andrew, when she was 17 years old. Andrew categorically denies the allegations.
In an interview to be broadcast on BBC TV later on Monday, Giuffre dismissed his denials and gave details of a trip to London in 2001 when she said she was taken by Epstein to meet the prince.
“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 BBC Panorama in extracts released by the broadcaster.
“I implore the people in the U.K. 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, the Queen’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 spokesperson 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 which he hoped would close the book on the scandal.
However, the interview was widely regarded as a disaster for the prince, provoking days of negative headlines and culminating in the prince stepping down from royal duties as charities and other organizations distanced themselves from him.
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 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 United States.
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.
“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.
Giuffre says it was later that night that she was told by Maxwell that she would have to have sex with Andrew.
Watch her talk about what happened:
Victoria Giuffre tells the BBC she was told she would have to have underage sex with Prince Andrew 0:20
Andrew, the eighth-in-line to the throne, said he could not have had sex with Giuffre on the night she alleges because he had been to a pizza restaurant in the commuter town of Woking for a children’s party.
He has also said he suffers from a medical condition that stopped him perspiring.
As well, he cast doubt on the authenticity of a picture from 2001 that showed him with his arm around Giuffre’s waist.
Giuffre told the BBC the picture was genuine and she had given it to the FBI.
Watch Giuffre describe her first private encounter with Andrew:
Victoria Giuffre describes to the BBC what she says happened when she was alone with Prince Andrew. 1:22
Andrew has said he stayed at Epstein’s home in New York after the financier had been convicted of Florida state prostitution charges because he was “too honourable” and wanted to break off the friendship in person.
Those explanations provoked derision and ridicule in newspapers and social media, while the prince was also criticized for failing to show sympathy for the victims of Epstein who died in a U.S. prison in August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled Epstein’s death a suicide.
“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 mean come on I’m calling BS on this, because that’s what it is,” Giuffre said.
Watch Giuffre insist she is the one telling the truth:
Victoria Giuffre tells the BBC that there is only one person telling the truth about what happened between her and Prince Andrew. 0:09
A BBC interview with Prince Andrew was supposed to explain his ties to the late convicted sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein, but it’s being called a “car crash,” and has prompted calls for him to step down from public life. Is this another annus horribilis for the Royal Family? 24:00