NEW YORK — Jeffrey Epstein’s most outspoken accuser sued Prince Andrew on Monday, charging that the British royal forced her into sex acts “against her will” while she was underage.
Virginia Giuffre has long said that she was trafficked by Epstein in the early 2000s. While trapped in the sex offender’s sadistic lifestyle, she was introduced to Ghislaine Maxwell’s friend, Prince Andrew, Giuffre says. Andrew allegedly abused Giuffre at Maxwell’s London townhouse and at Epstein’s Upper East Side mansion, Giuffre charges in a new Manhattan Federal Court suit filed under the Child Victims Act.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and the 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 one can reclaim her life by speaking out and demanding justice,” Giuffre said in a statement.
Andrew has denied wrongdoing. Federal prosecutors investigating Epstein’s enablers have criticized Andrew for not being more forthcoming about his friendship with Epstein and Maxwell.
Maxwell, Epstein’s alleged top recruiter of victims, has pleaded not guilty to charges of enticing minors.
The suit emerged hours after an out-of-court claims program announced it had awarded nearly $125 million to 150 Epstein victims.
The Epstein Victims’ Compensation Program, which concluded most operations on Monday, said in a release that it received 225 claims — more than double the expected amount.
The payouts come from Epstein’s estate, which was valued at more than $600 million at the time of his suicide in a lower Manhattan lockup in August 2019 while awaiting trial for running an underage sex trafficking scheme. At the end of 2020, the estate said it had $49 million in cash and total assets of $240 million.
“Every claimant had an opportunity to be heard in a safe space, to share the intimate, personal, often harrowing accounts of what they endured and how it has affected them,” Jordana Feldman, the program’s independent administrator, said. “I was continually struck by the resilience and courage of the victims who put their faith and trust in this process.”
Feldman previously served as the former deputy special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The out-of-court program allowed Epstein accusers to describe the sex offender’s abuse in a confidential, non-adversarial setting.
In exchange for accepting a payout, victims agreed to drop lawsuits against the sex offender’s estate and his former employees. In some instances, Epstein accusers dropped lawsuits against Maxwell after accepting an offer from the program.
Feldman said that 92% of victims deemed eligible for compensation accepted payout offers. A handful of Epstein victims are proceeding with lawsuits in Manhattan Federal Court against the estate.
“I am proud of what we were able to accomplish with this program, but also recognize that no amount of money will erase the years of pain these victims have endured because of Jeffrey Epstein. My hope is that the program provided his victims a meaningful measure of justice and a step on the path toward healing,” Feldman said.
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