An American woman who has long accused the late businessman Jeffrey Epstein of sexual abuse sued Prince Andrew on Monday over alleged sexual assault.
Virginia Giuffre filed the lawsuit in federal court Monday in Manhattan under the Child Victims Act. Giuffre, who now lives in Australia, said she was 17 when the assault by the member of the British royal family took place.
In a statement, Giuffre said, "I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me."
She said she hopes other victims will see from her lawsuit "that it is possible not to live in silence and fear but to reclaim one's life by speaking out and demanding justice."
Giuffre's lawsuit claims that the prince sexually abused her on multiple occasions in 2001, including in Epstein's New York mansion and at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell, who has been linked to Epstein and charged with sex trafficking.
Andrew, the second son of Queen Elizabeth II, has repeatedly denied having sexual contact with Giuffre and told BBC Newsnight in 2019 that he had "no recollection" of ever meeting her.
Epstein died two years ago from apparent suicide in a federal prison in Manhattan, where he was awaiting trial on federal child sex trafficking charges.
Maxwell faces trial in November on sex trafficking charges. She has pleaded not guilty.
ABC News reported Monday that Giuffre's lawsuit comes just days before the expiration of a New York state law that allows alleged victims of childhood sexual abuse to file civil claims when criminal charges might otherwise be barred by statutes of limitations.
Giuffre's lawyer, David Boies, told the news network, "If she doesn't do it now, she would be allowing (Andrew) to escape any accountability for his actions."
A spokesman for Andrew told ABC news there would be no comment on the lawsuit.
After Giuffre first accused the prince of sexual abuse in public court filings in 2014, a palace statement at that time said, "the allegations made are false and without any foundation."
Some information in this report came from The Associated Press.