Britain's Prince Andrew has been sued in New York by a woman who claimed to have been forced to have sexual relations with the prominent royal after she was trafficked by his friend and financier Jeffrey Epstein.
In a civil complaint filed in the US District Court in Manhattan, Virginia Giuffre said Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth's second son, sexually assaulted and abused her about two decades ago, when she was 17.
Epstein was also involved in the crime. The lawsuit alleges Andrew had an illicit sexual encounter with Giuffre, whose maiden name is Virginia Roberts, on Epstein's private island in the US Virgin Islands called Little St. James.
Andrew has repeatedly denied having had any sexual encounters with Giuffre. His lawyers and spokesperson are also unavailable to comment on the said issue.
"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", she added.
In a previous interview with BBC, Prince Andrew said he had no recollection of meeting Giuffre, and denied her claim of sexual abuse.
However, the questions over his ties to Jeffery Epstein, a registered sex offender, led to him stepping down from public duties in November 2019.
Epstein killed himself at age 66 in a Manhattan jail on Aug. 10, 2019, while awaiting trial for sexually exploiting dozens of girls and women.