Lawyers for Queensland woman Virginia Roberts Giuffre filed the lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court on Monday.
“Twenty years ago, Prince Andrew’s wealth, power, position, and connections enabled him to abuse a frightened, vulnerable child with no one there to protect her,” the lawsuit states.
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“It is long past the time for him to be held to account”.
Ms Giuffre said in a statement that she “did not come to this decision lightly”.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” she said.
“The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions.
“I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one’s life by speaking out and demanding justice.
“As a mother and a wife, my family comes first and I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates – but I knew if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down.”
The lawsuit accuses Prince Andrew of sexually assaulting Giuffre at convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s mansion in 2001.
But Prince Andrew has previously denied the allegations, telling BBC in 2019 that “It did not happen”.
“I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened,” Prince Andrew said.
If you are in immediate danger call 000 now. If you require advice or assistance, the following services offer counselling and support:
Lifeline 24/7 telephone crisis support 13 11 14
1800RESPECT 24/7 phone 1800 737 732
Gold Coast Centre Against Sexual Violence phone 07 5591 1164
Bravehearts phone 1800 272 831