Virginia Giuffre, an alleged survivor of Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse, had a message for reporters after an emotional court hearing in Manhattan Tuesday: Epstein wasn’t the only powerful man to assault young girls.
Giuffre has repeatedly alleged Prince Andrew assaulted her in London and New York and on Epstein’s private island several years ago. She said Tuesday that she hopes the royal is ready to come clean.
“He knows what he’s done and he can attest to that,” Giuffre said, according to the Guardian.
Giuffre, one of Epstein’s most vocal accusers, sued the financier’s alleged recruiter and madam, the British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, in 2015. Just one day before Epstein killed himself in a Manhattan jail cell on Aug. 10, an appeals court judge unsealed hundreds of pages of deposition relating to that lawsuit, including allegations that Epstein and Maxwell had facilitated her sexual abuse by Prince Andrew when she was a teenager.
The other men she accused of abusing her — financier Glenn Dubin, former Sen. George Mitchell, and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson — immediately denied the allegations and involvement with Epstein after Giuffre’s deposition was unsealed.
Maxwell, who has not been charged with a crime, previously denied involvement with Epstein’s alleged human trafficking ring. She has largely stayed out of the public eye for the past several years, however.
Prince Andrew, for his part, said he was “appalled” by Epstein’s alleged crimes, although he largely maintained silence after Epstein’s arrest on human trafficking and conspiracy charges in July and subsequent August suicide. (VICE News’ attempts to contact the Duke of York after Giuffre’s deposition was released in August were unsuccessful.)
Instead, he only commented after a British tabloid, the Daily Mail, published a video last week that appeared to show him waving goodbye to a young woman at Epstein’s palatial Manhattan estate in 2010.
"The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein's alleged crimes," Buckingham Palace said in a statement after the Mail’s story. "His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being, and the suggestion he would condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent."
However, those “suggestions” aren’t anything new. Andrew stepped down from his role as a U.K. trade envoy in 2011, potentially due to allegations of a tight friendship between him and Epstein at the time. That year, the Daily Mail published a photo of Prince Andrew with Giuffre. She’s 17 in the photo, and Andrew has his arm hooked around her waist while they both smile at the camera.
Around the time the photo was published, Epstein was dogged by similar human trafficking allegations. In 2007, he ultimately took a generous plea deal with federal prosecutors and pleaded guilty to prostitution charges rather than harsher child trafficking allegations. He was made to register as a sex offender as a condition of the plea agreement. When Giuffre sued over the legality of that plea deal and again brought up claims against Prince Andrew, a federal judge struck it from the court record and argued the “lurid details” were unnecessary to the lawsuit.
Yet, the Daily Mail tabloid also reported Andrew had recently been seen in New York City’s Central Park with Epstein in 2010, showing the two had maintained a friendship despite Epstein’s status as a sex offender. It was also revealed that Andrew’s former wife, Sarah Ferguson, had received an $18,000 gift from Epstein to help repay her debts. Prince Andrew, who is eighth in line to the British throne, vehemently denied any wrongdoing.
Instead, Andrew said in a statement on Saturday that he saw Epstein once or twice a year and never suspected any inappropriate behavior — let alone engaged in it himself — according to the Guardian.
“I have said previously that it was a mistake and an error to see him after his release [from prison] in 2010 and I can only reiterate my regret that I was mistaken to think that what I thought I knew of him was evidently not the real person, given what we now know,” Andrew said.
Cover: Prince Andrew, Duke of York attends the QIPCO King George Weekend at Ascot Racecourse on July 27, 2019 in Ascot, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)