What allegations have been made against Prince Andrew in US lawsuit?

12 August 2021, 12:12 | Updated: 12 August 2021, 14:56

Prince Andrew is facing allegations from Virginia Giuffre
Prince Andrew is facing allegations from Virginia Giuffre. Picture: Alamy
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

Sexual assault allegations against Prince Andrew have resurfaced, with the Duke of York facing a civil lawsuit in the US over historic claims.

The Queen's son was warned against ignoring American courts this week while his legal team were accused of having "stonewalled" appeals for information.

Amid the sex trafficking scandal surrounding his former friend, the late convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew stepped down from royal duties after a disastrous BBC Newsnight interview.

Some accusations have been levelled at the duke, who denies any wrongdoing or any knowledge of criminal acts committed by his billionaire former associate.

So what are the allegations against Prince Andrew? What happened this week with Virginia Giuffre? And what has the Metropolitan Police said about the claims?

Watch in full: Call the Commissioner - Met Police chief answers LBC listeners' questions

What is Prince Andrew accused of?

Virginia Giuffre is suing the Duke of York for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager. She also says he was aware of her age and accused him of "knowing that she was a sex-trafficking victim".

The now-38-year-old claims she was trafficked by Epstein to have sex with the prince when she was 17 years old and a minor under US law.

It is alleged that she was sexually abused at the London home of the disgraced billionaire's ex-girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's New York mansion and at other locations including the financier's private island in the US Virgin Islands.

Documents from the civil lawsuit claim Ms Giuffre "was compelled by express or implied threats by Epstein, Maxwell, and/or Prince Andrew to engage in sexual acts with Prince Andrew, and feared death or physical injury to herself or another and other repercussions for disobeying Epstein, Maxwell, and Prince Andrew due to their powerful connections, wealth and authority".

Andrew vehemently denies the allegations and a spokesperson for the duke said there was "no comment" when asked to respond to Ms Giuffre's legal action.

Read more: Prince Andrew accusations: 'No one is above the law', Met chief tells LBC

What happened this week with Virginia Giuffre?

Ms Giuffre's legal team filed a civil suit against Prince Andrew this week seeking unspecified damages at a federal court in New York, where the documents claim she was "lent out for sexual purposes" by Epstein, including while she was still a minor under US law.

The lawyer representing the Duke of York's accuser has warned against anyone ignoring the US courts as he claimed the royal's legal team have "stonewalled" appeals for information.

David Boies said his client ultimately wanted "vindication" from her civil suit for damages as it is "past the time for him to be held to account".

Andrew is named as the only defendant in the 15-page suit, brought under New York state's Child Victims Act, although Epstein and Maxwell are mentioned frequently throughout.

The legal team for the duke said last year that they were cooperating on the Epstein case with authorities in the US and the royal had offered to be a witness.

Watch: Prince Andrew extradition depends on Boris Johnson, says human rights lawyer

What has the Metropolitan Police said?

Metropolitan Police chief Dame Cressida Dick told LBC on her monthly Call the Commissioner show that "no one is above the law" when discussing the allegations against Prince Andrew.

She added that a review into the case is under way but no investigation is taking place.

Dame Cressida told LBC's Nick Ferrari: "No one is above the law.

"It's been reviewed twice before, we've worked closely with the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service), we are of course open to working with authorities overseas, we will give them every assistance if they ask us for anything within the law obviously.

"As a result of what's going on, I've asked my team to have another look at the material."

She added: "I'm aware that currently there is a lot more commentary in the media and the apparent civil court case going on in America and we will again review our position."