A woman who alleges she was used as an underage sex slave by rich and powerful men has claimed in a US court document that she was repeatedly forced to have sexual relations with Prince Andrew.
The accusation is contained in a motion filed in a Florida court this week in connection with a lawsuit brought by women who allege they were exploited by multi-millionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
According to the Guardian, the woman alleges that she was repeatedly abused by Epstein between 1999 and 2002, and also claims that he ‘loaned her out’ to other rich and influential men throughout the world, including the Duke of York.
The document alleges that the woman “was forced to have sexual relations with this prince when she was a minor” in New York, London and a Caribbean island owned by Epstein in “an orgy with numerous other under-aged girls”.
The woman was 17 at the time, which is considered underage in Florida law, where the papers were filed.
In 2011, the prince denied any sexual contact with young women associated with Epstein in a Vanity Fair article.
Buckingham Palace has so far declined to comment on the matter, saying that it would “never comment on an ongoing legal matter.” However Alan Dershowitz, another associate of Epstein, said that the accusations against himself were “totally false and made up.”
Mr Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor who advised Epstein on how to respond to the FBI’s investigation, is also accused of having sexual relations with the woman. He said: “There is no more strenuous denial than the one I am giving. I never met her. I don’t know her. I have never had sex with an underage person.”
“This person has made this up out of cloth, maliciously and knowingly in order to extort money from Mr Epstein,” he added.
Prince Andrew’s close relationship with Epstein has long been a source of controversy. He has previously been accused of meeting Epstein’s victims and even being aware of abuse, but this is the first time he has been accused of abuse himself.
As Andrew is not a named party to the case, and it has only just been filed, he has not yet had a chance to formally deny the claims.
An FBI inquiry into Epstein’s activities was dropped in 2008 in a plea bargaining deal. Epstein pleaded guilty to a relatively minor charge relating to soliciting paid sex with a minor, serving 13 months of an 18-month sentence. Many of his alleged victims have now reach out-of-court settlements, however two have brought a lawsuit arguing that federal prosecutor breached the victims’ rights over the plea deal.