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Who is Virginia Giuffre? The allegations made by Prince Andrew and Jeffrey Epstein's accuser, as she appears on BBC Panorama

The i logo The i 02/12/2019
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Virginia Giuffre says she was a sex slave of billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier who died in August facing charges of trafficking underage girls for sex.

Since his death the spotlight has turned to his friend Prince Andrew, and Ms Giuffre, who was Virginia Roberts before her marriage, alleges they had sex.

The Duke of York, the Queen's second son, has always strenuously denied the claims, which were thrust to the front of the news cycle after his disastrous Newsnight interview last month.

On Monday evening the rival BBC programme Panorama will air an interview with his 35 year-old accuser.

a close up of a woman with pink hair looking at the camera © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Who is Virginia Giuffre?

Ms Giuffre, a mum of three born in the US, is locked in a legal dispute with Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend of Epstein.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre speaks during a press conference outside a Manhattan court (Photo: AP/Bebeto Matthews)

She made allegations against Prince Andrew in 2015, which sparked a defamation lawsuit, and has made further allegations since Epstein was found dead in his prison cell on 10 August.

Prince Andrew and Buckingham Palace have emphatically denied her claims, but Ms Giuffre has not relented.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Her allegations against Jeffrey Epstein

Ms Giuffre alleges that she was groomed by Ms Maxwell, 57, to become a young “sex slave” for Epstein to abuse.

Virginia Giuffre says she was a 'sex slave' of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein (Photo: Florida Department of Law Enforcement/Getty Images)

She alleges Epstein forced her to have sex aged 17 with him, Prince Andrew and eight other girls on the disgraced financier’s private island in 2001.

In court 2015 documents resurfaced by the Channel 4 Dispatches programme, Ms Giuffre said: "The other girls all seemed and appeared to be under the age of 18 and didn’t really speak English.

"Epstein laughed about the fact they couldn’t really communicate, saying that they are the ‘easiest’ girls to get along with.”

In a now infamous photograph taken at Epstein’s London house, a teenage Ms Giuffre is shown alongside Prince Andrew with Ms Maxwell in the background.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The i

Her allegations against Prince Andrew

Ms Giuffre claims that the Duke of York has had sex with her three times - twice while she was underage - and that she flew alongside the prince on Epstein’s private jet.

Prince Andrew's interview with the BBC has opened him, and the monarchy, up for fresh criticism

She alleges Ms Maxwell introduced her to Prince Andrew, and that he joined her in Tramp nightclub in London, bought her vodka and abused her. Buckingham Palace and Andrew have consistently denied the accusations.

The claims were struck off in a Florida court in 2015 after the judge described them as “immaterial and impertinent” to the case against Epstein.

Ms Giuffre has criticised the Metropolitan Police for not investigating her claims, a decision that Scotland Yard has defended on grounds it has “not received a formal request asking for assistance” from the FBI, who are still investigating Epstein.

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What will she tell BBC Panorama?

The BBC said the programme, which the corporation extended from half an hour to an hour last week, explores fresh details about Ms Giuffre’s encounters with Epstein.

Virginia Giuffre has confirmed her allegations against the prince in a Panorama interview (Photo: BBC News)

The interview, her first on British television, is also set to probe her relationship with Ms Maxwell, who has vanished from the public eye for months.

In a trailer for the broadcast, Ms Giuffre says of the Duke of York allegations: “It was a really scary time in my life. He knows what happened, I know what happened. And there’s only one of us telling the truth.”

Jeffrey Epstein smiling for the camera © Provided by The i

What has Prince Andrew said?

The Duke of York, who was friends with Epstein for years, agreed to an interview with BBC Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis two weeks ago, widely branded a “car crash” after a run of critical front pages in its wake.

In the 40 minute one-to-one discussion, the prince said the alleged encounters with Ms Giuffre “never happened”.

Prince Andrew had a years long friendship with Jeffrey Epstein (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

He insisted that he had been at his daughter’s birthday party at Pizza Express, Woking, at the time.

In response to Ms Giuffre’s allegation that he was sweating heavily at Tramp, the prince said a medical condition from his service in the Falklands War left him unable to perspire. “I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” he said.

The Duke and Buckingham Palace have strongly denied all of Ms Giuffre's claims.

The programme is scheduled to air at 9pm tonight on BBC One.

Britain's royal line of succession [Photos]

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