Virginia Roberts has until next Saturday to file a civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew. Andrew is accused of having sex with an underaged Roberts twice, who was lent out by Jeffrey Epstein in 2001. Prince Andrew has fiercely denied all allegations made against him and asserts that he doesn’t recall meeting the young Roberts despite being pictured with her in a London apartment.
On Valentine’s Day in 2019, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act into law, enhancing the rights of childhood sexual abuse victims. The law increases the rights of the abused to file civil suits against their alleged abusers. A year later, Cuomo signed an extension to the law – the “Look Back Window” – which increases the time for victims to file suits against their abusers in historic cases. This leaves Virginia Roberts with one more week until the August 14 deadline.
Though only Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts know what happened between them two decades ago, things are heating up. And with Saturday fast approaching, many wonder whether Roberts will sue Andrew, or if things will be settled out of court.
Roberts alleges that she was forced to have sex with Andrew when she was just 17 years old. The potential suit could be worth millions of pounds. According to Roberts’ lawyer, David Boies, the lawsuit “would be based on her being lent out to Prince Andrew for sex by Jeffrey Epstein and [her] being under 18.” He continued, saying that Roberts also accuses Andrew of “improper sexual violations, physical and emotional distress.”
“Times up,” Boies said in reference to the case, indicating that Prince Andrew may only have a few days until Virginia Roberts pulls the trigger. The case would be explosive and could uncover Andrew’s crude or even embarrassing sexual past.
In 2015, Roberts filed a defamation suit against Jeffrey Epstein’s long-time social companion, Ghislaine Maxwell. Though the lawsuit ended in a settlement, it was deeply revelatory, bringing to light much of Maxwell’s sexual history – with emails, texts, and other evidence involved in the court proceedings. The same could be true for Prince Andrew if Roberts pursues the civil action.
“This could be devastating for Andrew,” a source told The Daily Mail. “If he chooses to fight it and is deposed, then those depositions could end up being made public. If he ignores it, he could be found guilty in absentia which would be a public relations disaster.”
Roberts alleges that she was forced to have sex with Andrew back in 2001 and that she was only 17. Roberts would have been above the U.K.’s legal age of consent, but in New York, a child is anyone under the age of 18. That would make their sexual encounter illegal in the state. Virginia Roberts accuses Prince Andrew of getting her drunk in a London nightclub and then having sex with her in the bathroom.
According to Roberts, they were together three times during a two-year period, twice when she was 17 and once when she was 18. She claims the third encounter with Andrew was during an orgy at Epstein’s private island. If she decides to sue, the trial “could be enforced any place in the world,” according to David Boies.
He added that if Andrew ignores it, the trial could go on without him and would be left to a default judgment. The lawyer reportedly sent the Duke of York two formal letters offering to sign an agreement, which would extend the statute of limitations so that both sides can negotiate. Andrew has ignored both requests.
Prince Andrew fiercely denies all charges against him. He says he has “no recollection” of meeting her despite evidence on the contrary. His representatives in Buckingham Palace claim Roberts’ accusations are “false and without foundation”.
A statement from the Palace previously asserted that “it is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.”