The woman accusing Prince Andrew of having sex with her when she was underage is breaking her silence after the Duke of York’s disastrous television interview and subsequent announcement that he’ll be stepping away from his royal duties.
The arrest of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein earlier this year, followed by his purported suicide and the murky circumstances surrounding it, renewed public interest in the prince’s longtime relationship with Epstein. At the time of his death, Epstein was being sued by Virginia Giuffre, who alleges she was one of numerous underage girls trafficked by Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and claims she was paid $15,000 to have sex with the prince when she was 17.
According to Giuffre’s lawsuit, she claims she and Andrew had sex on three different occasions from 1999 to 2002. Andrew has denied he ever met Giuffre, despite a photo of the two of them together, with Maxwell pictured in the background.
On Thursday, Giuffre issued a statement about the prince’s announcement through her attorney, Sigrid McCawley.
“Prince Andrew’s recent interview and his subsequent action to withdraw from public life is welcomed news. It is a positive first step towards taking responsibility for his actions,” McCawley told People in a statement.
“However, basing his decision to step away from his duties due to his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein is only a half truth,” the statement continues. “He clearly had a long-term association with Ghislaine Maxwell who we maintain was Epstein’s co-conspirator and played a central role in devastating the lives of countless women.”
In his interview with “Newsnight” presenter Emily Maitlis, Andrew claimed he had “no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” referring to Giuffre, adding, “It just never happened.”
He also disputed Giuffre’s claim that they partied at London’s Tramps nightclub before their alleged sexual encounter. “There are a number of things that are wrong with that story, one of which is that I don’t know where the bar is in Tramps. I don’t drink, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a drink in Tramps whenever I was there,” Andrew said.
“I was with the children and I’d taken Beatrice to a Pizza Express in Woking for a party at I suppose sort of 4 or 5 in the afternoon,” he added. “And then because the Duchess [Sarah Ferguson] was away, we have a simple rule in the family that when one is away the other one is there. I was on terminal leave at the time from the Royal Navy so therefore I was at home.”