Prince Andrew's sexual assault settlement: Who is accuser Virginia Giuffre?

How the victim's 'childhood was quickly taken away' at the tender age of seven



An undated handout photo taken at an undisclosed location and released on August 9, 2021 by the United States District Couty for the Southern District of New York shows (L-R) Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell posing for a photo. AFP
An undated handout photo taken at an undisclosed location and released on August 9, 2021 by the United States District Couty for the Southern District of New York shows (L-R) Prince Andrew, Virginia Giuffre, and Ghislaine Maxwell posing for a photo. AFP
by

A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 16 Feb 2022, 12:40 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Feb 2022, 3:04 PM

Prince Andrew and his accuser Virginia Giuffre have reached an out-of-court settlement in her sexual abuse lawsuit against him, according to a court document filed by her attorneys on Tuesday.

Though the sum of the settlement will not be disclosed, it is rumoured to be £12 (Dh59.77) million.

The case is likely to be dismissed within 30 days.

American Virginia Giuffre says she was the victim of sex trafficking and abuse by American billionaire and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who is now dead, and his powerful associates when she was a teenager.

Here's what we know about Virginia Giuffre.

She was born Virginia Roberts in 1983 in the US state of California. Later, her family relocated to Florida.

At the age of seven, she says she was sexually abused by a family friend, and her "childhood was quickly taken away".

"I was just so mentally scarred already at such a young age, and I ran away from that," she told the BBC's Panorama programme in 2019.

Later in her childhood, she was in and out of foster care. And by the age of 14, she was living on the streets where she says she found nothing "except for hunger and pain and [more] abuse".

In 2000, she met British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell while she was trying to rebuild her life.

Giuffre worked as a locker room attendant at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. She says Maxwell offered her an interview for the chance to train as a massage therapist.

How did she meet Jeffrey Epstein?

Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein Photo: AFP
Ghislaine Maxwell, Jeffrey Epstein Photo: AFP

Giuffre became a victim of Epstein's sexual abuse since she met him for the first time at his home in Palm Beach.

"They seemed like nice people so I trusted them, and I told them I'd had a really hard time in my life up until then — I'd been a runaway, I'd been sexually abused, physically abused… That was the worst thing I could have told them because now they knew how vulnerable I was," she told the BBC.

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Giuffre says she went from being abused by Epstein to being "passed around like a platter of fruit" among his powerful associates, as she was taken around the world on private jets.

In 2001, then aged 17, she says Epstein brought her to London and introduced her to Prince Andrew.

A photograph has gone viral, which she says was taken on that night and shows the Duke of York with his arm around Giuffre, as Maxwell smiles in the background.


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