London – Prince Andrew faced fresh humiliation on Monday night as his accuser told of the night she claims they had sex.
In excruciating detail, Virginia Roberts alleged she was “grossed out” by dancing with the sweat-soaked royal and felt sick at realising she was expected to have sex with him at the age of 17.
On BBC’s Panorama she broke down in tears as she described how she said she was “abused by a member of the Royal Family”.
She said she was trafficked by Andrew’s friend Jeffrey Epstein and given instructions about the prince by Ghislaine Maxwell, the billionaire paedophile’s then girlfriend. Andrew has repeatedly and categorically denied having any sexual contact with Miss Roberts – denials she labelled as lies. She said she had felt scared because Andrew and Epstein were powerful, adding: “I just didn’t expect it from royalty. I didn’t expect it from someone that people look up to and admire in the Royal Family.”
Describing their alleged sexual encounter, she said: “It didn’t last very long, the whole entire procedure. It was disgusting. He wasn’t mean or anything but he got up and said “Thanks” and walked out. I sat there in bed just horrified and ashamed and felt dirty. I had to get up and have a shower.”
Miss Roberts said Miss Maxwell patted her on the back the next day and told her: “You made him really happy.”
“I’m calling BS on this, because that’s what it is.”
Prince Andrew says he has no recollection of meeting Virginia Giuffre, nor of any photo being taken with her and he emphatically denies he had any form of sexual contact or relationship with her. pic.twitter.com/aqQ76kpPHI
— Panorama 🌐 (@BBCPanorama)
December 2, 2019
Her account came as it emerged that:
- Five women have demanded Andrew give evidence in their claims against Epstein;
- Their lawyers are poised to serve court subpoenas on the prince if he visits the US;
- Previously unseen emails showed the prince asked Miss Maxwell for help over Miss Roberts’ claims;
- Remarkable new photographs showed Andrew with Epstein and Miss Maxwell in the royal enclosure at Ascot;
- One of Epstein’s victims claimed Miss Maxwell was the “nuts and bolts of the sex trafficking operation”;
- Andrew was defended by a prominent lawyer, who said the BBC was sparking ‘a salacious trial by media’;
- Aides said the prince would help “any appropriate law enforcement agency”.
The scandal has already led to Andrew, 59, being forced to step back from his royal duties. His accuser, now 35 and known by her married name Virginia Giuffre, told Panorama they were introduced in 2001, when she was 17, after allegedly being ‘trafficked’ to Britain on Epstein’s private jet.
She said she was taken to a VIP area in Tramp nightclub in Mayfair, central London, where Andrew bought her vodka and asked her to dance. Miss Roberts, who claims Miss Maxwell recruited her to work as Epstein’s masseuse when she was 15, said the socialite gave her instructions as they left.
She said: “In the car, Ghislaine tells me that I have to do for Andrew what I do for Jeffrey and that just made me sick.”
The married mother of three alleges she and Andrew had sex that night at Miss Maxwell’s home in Belgravia.
She poured scorn on his repeated attempts to deny the encounter, or that they ever met, despite a photograph showing him with his arm around her waist.
There have been claims that the image was edited to support her account.
Miss Roberts told Panorama: “The people on the inside are going to keep coming up with these ridiculous excuses. I mean, come on, I’m calling BS [bulls**t] on this, because that’s what it is. He knows what happened. I know what happened and there’s only one of us telling the truth, and I know that’s me.”
Andrew gave a disastrous interview to BBC Newsnight last month in which he said he did not remember meeting Miss Roberts, and vehemently denied they had sex.
But the backlash over his friendship with Epstein, who killed himself in jail in August, meant he was forced to withdraw from public life, and businesses and charities withdrew their support for his projects. He said he had no recollection of meeting Miss Roberts, and claimed he was at a Pizza Express in Woking, Surrey, with Princess Beatrice on the night she claims they met.
The prince said a rare medical condition meant he was unable to sweat at the time.
Miss Roberts told Panorama: “He is the most hideous dancer I’ve ever seen in my life. I mean it was horrible and this guy was sweating all over me, like his sweat was like it was raining basically everywhere.
“I was just like grossed out from it but I knew I had to keep him happy because that’s what Jeffrey and Ghislaine would have expected from me.
“I implore the people in the UK to stand up beside me, to help me fight this fight, to not accept this as being OK. This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked, this is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys’ royalty.’
“I implore the people in the UK to stand up beside me.”
Virginia Giuffre says she was trafficked as a teenager and asks the British public to not accept this “as being OK.”
The Duke of York emphatically denies any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Giuffre. pic.twitter.com/vnOSI9Znu0
— Panorama 🌐 (@BBCPanorama)
December 2, 2019
Miss Roberts’ interview with Panorama was filmed in October, before the prince’s disastrous interview.
Epstein’s victims have said Miss Maxwell was complicit in their abuse. She has denied their claims. Sarah Ransome, a Briton who has claimed she was repeatedly raped at Epstein’s hideaway in the US Virgin Islands, told Panorama: “Ghislaine controlled the girls. She was like the madam. She was like the nuts and bolts of the sex trafficking operation. She knew what Jeffrey liked.”
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.
“The Duke of York unequivocally regrets his ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein’s suicide left many unanswered questions, particularly for his victims. The Duke deeply sympathises with those affected who want some form of closure. It is his hope that, in time, they will be able to rebuild their lives.
“The Duke is willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required. The Duke has already stated that he did not see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to Jeffrey Epstein’s arrest and conviction. He deplores the exploitation of any human being and would not condone, participate in, or encourage any such behaviour.”
Andrew was backed by prominent lawyer Daniel Janner QC, of the campaign group Falsely Accused Individuals for Reform. His father, the late Labour peer Lord Janner, was accused of child sex abuse before his death.
He said: “The BBC risks running a salacious trial by media of Prince Andrew. He is entitled to the presumption of innocence.”
Royal expert Penny Junor said Miss Roberts’ interview threatened to be extremely damaging, adding: ‘This is about as bad as it gets for Andrew. Virginia Giuffre sounds very plausible in this interview, while most of Andrew’s excuses in his interview with Emily Maitlis were laughable.’
* Panorama: The Prince and the Epstein Scandal is on BBC iPlayer.