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Underage girl forced to have sex with Prince Andrew, US court document claims

The Guardian logo The Guardian 1/08/2020 Matthew Weaver
Prince Andrew, Duke of York wearing a suit and tie: Photograph: Chris Radburn/Reuters © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Chris Radburn/Reuters

The sex offender Jeffrey Epstein allegedly tried to gather incriminating material against Prince Andrew by forcing an underage girl to have sex with him, according to newly released court documents.

The papers released by a court in New York say the alleged encounter took place on the late US financier’s private island in the US Virgin Islands. A document claims Epstein instructed the girl, referred to as Jane Doe #3, to “give the prince whatever he demanded and report back to him on the details of the sexual abuse”.

Epstein allegedly sexually trafficked the girl to powerful people to “ingratiate himself with them for business, personal, political and financial gain, as wall as to obtain potential blackmail information”. They included “numerous prominent American politicians, powerful business executives, foreign presidents, a well-known prime minister, and other world leaders.”

The papers, part of prior litigation, also contain the claim that Andrew tried to lobby the US on behalf of Epstein to help secure a “favourable plea arrangement”.

ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 22:  Royal Ascot Race Meeting Thursday - Ladies Day. Prince Andrew, Duke Of York and Ghislaine Maxwell At Ascot. With them are Edward (far left) and Caroline Stanley (far right), the Earl and Countess of Derby. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images) ASCOT, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 22: Royal Ascot Race Meeting Thursday - Ladies Day. Prince Andrew, Duke Of York and Ghislaine Maxwell At Ascot. With them are Edward (far left) and Caroline Stanley (far right), the Earl and Countess of Derby. (Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images) The papers are part of a 2015 civil court battle between Epstein and his former girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell, and Virginia Roberts Giuffre, now 36, who accused the couple of sexual abuse. She also claimed she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew, which he vehemently denies.

It is not clear from the court papers whether Jane Doe #3 is Giuffre.

The papers were released after a judge rejected an attempt by Maxwell’s lawyers to keep them secret. A friend of Prince Andrew said: “The US federal appeals court said in 2019 these allegations should be treated with ‘extreme caution’. Allegations are not the same as facts, which is the essential premise on which justice works. Let’s see if these allegations stand up, because precious few about the duke do – where’s the proof?”

Lawyers for two other alleged victims in the 2015 civil case, referred to as Jane Doe #1 and #2, requested the release of documents showing the alleged lobbying by the Prince.

They are seeking “documents regarding Epstein’s lobbying efforts to persuade the government to give him a more favourable plea arrangement and/or non-prosecution agreement, including efforts on his behalf by Prince Andrew and the former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz”.

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 5: Ghislaine Maxwell attends Vanessa Noel Hosts Barbara Taylor Bradford's new book "Cavendon Hall" at Vanessa Noel on June 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images) © 2014 Patrick McMullan NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 5: Ghislaine Maxwell attends Vanessa Noel Hosts Barbara Taylor Bradford's new book "Cavendon Hall" at Vanessa Noel on June 5, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images) It is claimed in the unsealed papers that an island orgy was one of three occasions when Jane Doe #3 was forced to have sex with Andrew. The other locations were Maxwell’s London flat and and in New York.

No precise dates are given for the alleged incidents. But it is claimed Jane Doe #3 was first approached by Maxwell in 1999, when she was 15. Epstein kept her as a “sex slave” from about 1999 to 2002, before she escaped and fled to another country, according to a document.

Similar allegations about Prince Andrew having sex with an underage girl were ordered to be struck from court records in 2015 in the civil case. At the time the judge did not rule on the veracity of the claims.

Epstein killed himself last summer while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges.

Maxwell was arrested recently on federal charges that she recruited at least three girls, including one as young as 14, for Epstein to sexually abuse in the 1990s. Prosecutors said she also joined in the abuse. Maxwell is in jail awaiting trial in New York.

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