Prince Andrew has been surrounded by controversy this past few years due to his connection with Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell.
Epstein died in an apparent suicide in 2019 while being held without bail on charges of sex trafficking girls. And British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell is currently in jail awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.
Prince Andrew has found himself involved in the case due to his close relationship with both Maxwell and Epstein, and the reports made by one woman, Virginia Guiffre, formerly Roberts, that she was allegedly brought to the UK aged 17 to have sex with the royal. According to Guiffre, she was introduced to Prince Andrew by Ghislaine.
While the Duke of York stepped back from his public duties, the royal family has denied the claims, with Prince Andrew explaining during his controversial 2019 Newsnight interview with Emily Maitlis that he had no recollection of meeting her.
This week, the scandal resurfaced as Virginia Giuffre filed a lawsuit against the Duke of York, accusing him of sexual abuse.
‘Today my attorney filed suit against Prince Andrew for sexual abuse under the Child Victims Act,’ Guiffre announced in a statement to People earlier this week. ‘As the suit lays out in detail, I was trafficked to him and sexually abused by him. I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. 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.’
While the royal family has remained silent about the recent lawsuit, Prince Andrew was seen making an emergency visit to Balmoral where the Queen is currently staying.
Prince Andrew was said to have been joined by his ex wife Sarah Ferguson who has been vocal in her support for him.
‘Whatever challenges he has, I will stand firm to the co-parenters we are together,’ she told People last month. ‘I believe he’s a kind, good man, and he’s been a fabulous father.’
The royal family has not yet responded.