Prince Andrew’s chief accuser was a prostitute who lied about her age and was paid “half a million” by disgraced businessman Jeffrey Epstein, new court papers allege, according to the Telegraph.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who is now an advocate for victims of sex trafficking, has claimed she had sex with the royal at least three times in 2001, when she was 17.
Giuffre claims this happened after she met with American financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was charged with procuring underage and young women for powerful clients, together with his close associate Ghislaine Maxwell.
According to the report, Sharon Churcher, the journalist who first revealed that Giuffre was among Epstein’s victims, told New York publisher Tony Lyons that Giuffre lied about her age when she met Epstein.
“She took a year off [her age]. Apparently she was 16, not 15, when she was recruited [by Epstein]. But she’d been on the game for about a year then. Epstein’s women were – he basically had prostitutes,” the paper quoted Churcher as saying about Giuffre, citing a transcript of her conversation with Lyons.
Churcher was quoted as saying that Giuffre was “suing everybody,” including Epstein’s lawyer, Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz. “The idea is that he will then pay her off. This really is blackmail,” she said, adding that Giuffre would “just move on to other people” and that Epstein had “paid her off.”
“She had settled with Epstein. She’d taken half a million, I think it was.”
The journalist also reportedly suggested that Giuffre may have produced fake emails that were later presented as having been written by Churcher.
In a comment to the Telegraph, Giuffre’s lawyer, Chuck Cooper, said: “We are looking forward to taking Ms. Churcher’s deposition under oath.”
Prince Andrew has denied ever having sex with Giuffre. He admitted to having been friends with Epstein but claimed he had no idea at the time that the businessman was involved in sex trafficking. In 2001, the prince was photographed wrapping his hand around Giuffre’s waist in Maxwell’s London apartment.
Epstein was found dead in August 2019 inside a prison cell in New York, where he was awaiting trial. Maxwell was arrested in July and charged with helping Epstein to procure underage girls for sex trafficking.
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