Published On: Wed, Aug 28th, 2019

Epstein news: Who is Virginia Giuffre, what has she said about Prince Andrew and Epstein? | World | News

Tycoon Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his prison cell on August 10. The 66-year-old – who counted the likes of President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew as friends – was waiting trial on sex trafficking and conspiracy charges at the time of his death. On Tuesday, 15 of his accusers spoke at a New York City court hearing held to give the victims a chance to give their statements and the impact of his alleged offending as the court case has now been closed due to his death. 

Who is Virginia Giuffre?

Virginia Giuffre – formerly Virginia Roberts – was one of Epstein’s accusers.

Now 35-years-old, she claims she was kept by Epstein as an underage “sex slave”.

Ms Giuffre has said in a court deposition she was working at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago golf resort in Florida when she was just 15 and was approached by British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell to give massages to Epstein.

She claims she was recruited by Maxwell – who has denied all the accusations against her – and alleges she was forced to have sex with Epstein’s prominent associates.

Ms Giuffre also says she was sent to Epstein’s private island in the US Virgin Islands where was forced to take part in orgies while underage.

Following his death, she claims his victims will never get justice.

Her lawyer Sigrid McCawley said in a statement to The Courier-Mail: “The reckoning of accountability begun by the voices of brave and truthful victims should not end with Jeffrey Epstein’s cowardly and shameful suicide.

“The fact that Epstein took his own life within 24 hours of the unsealing of detailed and devastating documents and exhibits in Virginia Giuffre’s lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell, which informed the public of the scope, scale and sophistication of the international sex trafficking operation Epstein conducted, is no coincidence.”

She added: “We are hopeful that the government will continue to investigate and will focus on those who participated and facilitated Epstein’s horrifying sex trafficking scheme that damaged so many.”

What has Virginia Giuffre said about Prince Andrew?

Ms Giuffre alleges she slept with the Duke of York three times – claims the royal vehemently denies.

Ms Giuffre’s original case and allegations about Prince Andrew were struck from the record in 2015, with the judge describing them as being “immaterial and impertinent”.

The Duke of York was pictured with his arm around the accuser when she was 17, with the photo being snapped at the home of Maxwell in London in 2001.

When asked for a comment on Prince Andrew during a news conference, Ms Giuffre said: “He knows what he’s done and he can attest to that.

“He knows exactly what he’s done and I hope he comes clean about it.”

On Tuesday, Virginia’s lawyer Brad Edwards said he had extended invitations to Andrew to answer “real questions” over the scandal.

The Queen’s son has strongly denied all the claims.

Buckingham Palace also said the Duke of York would help authorities in any investigations into the disgraced millionaire.

In the statement issued at the weekend, Prince Andrew said: “It is apparent to me since the suicide of Mr Epstein that there has been an immense amount of media speculation about so much in his life.

“This is particularly the case in relation to my former association or friendship with Mr Epstein.

“Therefore I am eager to clarify the facts to avoid further speculation.”

He added: “I met Mr Epstein in 1999. During the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year. I have stayed in a number of his residences.

“At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction.”

A previous Buckingham Palace statement said: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes.

“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.”

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