London: The lawyers for one of the alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein filed a lawsuit against Prince Andrew in a Manhattan court on Monday.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre accused the 61-year-old British royal of having sexually assaulted her when she was 17.
Giuffre speaks up
"I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me," Giuffre said in a statement. "The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions. I hope that other victims will see 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 lawyers filed the suit just days before the statute of limitations would have barred her from raising a legal case.
"If she doesn't do it now, she would be allowing him to escape any accountability for his actions," Giuffre’s attorney, David Boies, told ABC news.
What are the accusations against Prince Andrew?
Giuffre said the prince abused her several times, including once in the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell when she was forced by Maxwell and Epstein to have sex with the royal against her will.
Giuffre said Prince Andrew also abused her at Epstein's mansion in New York, and on a private island that Epstein owned in the US Virgin Islands.
The official complaint accused the British royal of battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
Maxwell, who is not a defendant in this case, has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges. Epstein committed suicide a month after being arrested on the same charges.
Andrew had 'no recollection' of meeting Giuffre
Prince Andrew denied having sex with Giuffre during an interview with the BBC in 2019. He said he had "no recollection" of ever meeting her.
In the immediate aftermath of the interview, Andrew stepped back from royal duties over his friendship with Epstein.
Under an agreement between the US and Britain to share evidence and information in criminal cases, New York prosecutors had formally requested to speak with Andrew about Epstein's case.
Brad Edwards, who represents dozens of Epstein's alleged victims, said that the royal has previously failed to answer questions for civil lawsuits.
"I've always been given the impression that, whether he has immunity or not, he certainly behaves like he does," Edwards said.