LONDON (Reuters) — An American woman who says she was forced to have sex with Britain’s Prince Andrew has appealed to Britons to take her side, saying that only she was telling the truth about a scandal that has engulfed the royal family.
Virginia Giuffre says she was trafficked by the disgraced late U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein and forced to have sex with his friends, including the British prince when she was 17 years old. Andrew categorically denies the allegations.
In an interview broadcast on Monday, Giuffre said she was brought to London in 2001 by Epstein and taken to meet the prince, one of three occasions when she says she had sex with Andrew.
“He knows what happened. I know what happened, and there’s only one of us telling the truth, and I know that’s me,” Giuffre told BBC Panorama.
“I implore the citizens in the U.K. to stand up beside me, to help me fight this fight, to not accept this as being OK. This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked, this is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys’ royalty.”
Andrew, 59, Queen Elizabeth’s second son, has said he has no recollection of ever meeting Giuffre, who was previously named Virginia Roberts.
In response to Giuffre’s interview, a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said: “It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”
Last month, the prince gave an interview himself to the BBC, which he hoped would draw a line under the scandal.
However, the interview was widely regarded as a disaster for him, provoking days of negative headlines and culminating in him stepping down from royal duties as charities and other organisations distanced themselves.
He said he regretted his “ill-judged” association with Epstein and that he had never seen anything suspicious during the time he spent with the financier.