The woman who alleges that she was forced by Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with Prince Andrew said she had three encounters with the British royal at the late financier’s instigation and accused the prince of lying about it.
Virginia Giuffre told the BBC that Epstein brought her to London in March 2001 when she was just 17 and already being trafficked for sex by him. She said she was brought to a townhouse belonging to Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s girlfriend and alleged accomplice, where she was introduced to the prince for the first time and told to go into a bedroom with him.
Giuffre, then known as Virginia Roberts, said she and Andrew had sex. “It was disgusting. He wasn’t mean or anything, but he got up and he said thanks and walked out, and I sat there in bed just horrified and ashamed, and felt dirty, and I had to get up and go have a shower,” she told the BBC investigative program “Panorama,” which was broadcast Monday night. “The next day Ghislaine tells me I did a really good job, and she pats me on the back and says, ‘You made him really happy.’”
She said she was frightened and could not believe that she “had just been abused by a member of a royal family.”
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Prince Andrew, 59, has vehemently denied Giuffre’s accusation. He told the BBC in an interview last month that, on the night in question, he was at a pizza parlor outside of London with one of his daughters.
“I can absolutely, categorically tell you it never happened,” the prince said of the alleged encounter with Giuffre.
In the “Panorama” program, Giuffre alleged that she had sex with the prince on two further occasions, once in Epstein’s New York mansion and again on his island retreat, where she said orgies were held. The prince has denied those allegations as well.
In support of her allegations, Giuffre has referred to a widely publicized photograph showing the prince with his arm around her waist in Maxwell’s townhouse. The prince has not directly called the photo a fake, but he has said that its authenticity could not be verified because “it was a photograph of a photograph of a photograph….I have simply no recollection of the photograph ever being taken.”
Giuffre dismissed that argument. “I think the world is getting sick of these ridiculous excuses,” she told the BBC. “It’s an authentic photo. There’s a date on the back of it from when it was printed….
“He knows what happened, I know what happened, and there’s only one of us telling the truth, and I know that’s me,” she said.
She acknowledged inconsistencies in her allegations over the years, including saying that she once had sex with Prince Andrew in New Mexico rather than on Epstein’s private island.
“You are left with a foggy memory sometimes,” she said. “I might be wrong on dates, absolutely. I might be wrong on places even, sometimes. But one thing I can tell you is, you never forget the face of someone who’s heaved over you.”
The prince’s own interview with the BBC last month, which he had hoped would put the controversy to rest, has been widely derided as a PR disaster in which he failed to show any sympathy for Epstein’s victims and said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein, a convicted sex offender who killed himself in jail earlier this year. In the uproar after the interview, the prince announced that he would temporarily give up his public duties as a senior member of the royal family, and charities and other organizations have said they would review their association with him.
Andrew also said he would cooperate with law-enforcement agencies investigating Epstein if necessary.