A complete timeline of Virginia Giuffre's sexual-assault accusations against Prince Andrew

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·14-min read
A complete timeline of Virginia Giuffre's sexual-assault accusations against Prince Andrew
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  • Virginia Giuffre claims Prince Andrew sexually assaulted her at Jeffrey Epstein's home at 17.

  • On Tuesday, Andrew and Giuffre reached a settlement in her sexual abuse lawsuit against him.

  • The settlement comes before Andrew and Giuffre were each deposed.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

April 2015: During a defamation case against Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, Virginia Giuffre alleged that Epstein forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17. The allegation was thrown out and struck from court record at the time.

virginia giuffre prince andrew ghislaine maxwell
Prince Andrew (left) and Virginia Giuffre (right), then known as Virginia Roberts, along with Ghislaine Maxwell (far right).Florida Southern District Court

In 2015, Virginia Giuffre brought a defamation case against Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, alleging that the pair had sex-trafficked her starting in 2000, when she was known as Virginia Roberts.

Giuffre alleged that Epstein forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew in his New York mansion, in London, and on Epstein's private island in the US Virgin Islands in 2001 when she was 17.

However, the allegation was thrown out and struck from the record by a judge, who said it was "immaterial and impertinent to the central claim" in the case at the time.

August 2019: Court documents from the 2015 case were unsealed, and Giuffre's allegations were made public. Buckingham Palace denied Andrew's alleged involvement with Giuffre in a statement.

Prince Andrew wearing a dark suit and medals at Prince Philip's funeral in April 2021.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York.Chris Jackson/Pool via Reuters

Further details about Giuffre's allegations against Andrew were made public in 2019 after documents from the 2015 defamation case were unsealed (you can read the documents here).

In the documents related to sex-trafficking charges against Epstein, witness Johanna Sjoberg told investigators about a sexual incident that she said happened, and involved herself, Maxwell, Andrew, Giuffre, and a puppet of the prince.

"Andrew and Virginia sat on the couch, and they put the puppet ... on her lap," Sjoberg was quoted saying in the documents. "I sat on Andrew's lap, I believe on my own volition, and they took the puppet's hands and put it on Virginia's breast, and so Andrew put his on mine."

Buckingham Palace defended Andrew in a statement at the time, denying that he had any involvement with Giuffre.

"It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts," the palace's statement read. "Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."

August 2019: Giuffre said Andrew "knows exactly what he's done" after the royal denied involvement in Epstein's sex-trafficking scheme.

Prince Andrew, left, and Jeffrey Epstein, right.
Prince Andrew (left), and Jeffrey Epstein (right).AP/Sang Tan, Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Prince Andrew made a statement after Epstein was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell on August 10, 2019, saying he sympathized "with everyone who has been affected and wants some form of closure."

In his statement, Andrew added that during the time he knew Epstein, he did not witness or "suspect any behavior of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction."

Giuffre responded with a statement of her own. Speaking to reporters outside a Manhattan court at the time, she said the prince "knows exactly what he's done, and I hope he comes clean about it."

November 2019: The prince stepped down from his royal duties days after a disastrous BBC "Newsnight" interview.

prince andrew newsnight 2
The Duke of York was interviewed by Emily Maitlis for the BBC's "Newsnight."BBC News/YouTube

Discussing the allegations in a BBC "Newsnight" interview with host Emily Maitlis on November 16, Andrew suggested that a photo that appears to show him with his hand around the waist of Giuffre was fake.

He also said during the interview that on the night Giuffre alleged they had dinner, partied at a club in London called Tramp, and later had sex, that he was at home with his daughters, Beatrice and Eugenie.

The interview was perceived negatively and labeled a "car crash" by much of the British media.

Following the interview, a string of charities, businesses, and universities cut ties with Andrew, and, on November 20, the duke announced he would drop his royal duties.

"It has become clear to me over the last few days that the circumstances relating to my former association with Jeffrey Epstein has become a major disruption to my family's work and the valuable work going on in the many organisations and charities that I am proud to support," Andrew said in a statement.

After saying that the Queen had given him her permission to step back from his duties, Andrew said he continues "to unequivocally regret my ill-judged association with Jeffrey Epstein."

He added that he would be "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."

December 2019: Giuffre asked the British public to stand behind her during a BBC "Panorama" interview.

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Virginia Guiffre holds a photo of herself as a teenager, when she says Jeffrey Epstein began abusing her sexually.Emily Michot/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

"I implore the people in the UK to stand up beside me, to help me fight this fight, to not accept this as being OK," Giuffre told the BBC.

"This is not some sordid sex story," she added. "This is a story of being trafficked. This is a story of abuse, and this is a story of your guys' royalty."

March 2020: Prince Harry distanced himself from Andrew when asked about his uncle during a phone call with Russian pranksters impersonating Greta Thunberg.

prince harry prince andrew at prince philip funeral
Prince Andrew and Prince Harry pictured at Prince Phillip's funeral in April 2021.GARETH FULLER/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Despite Andrew's ex-wife Sarah Ferguson showing her support for Andrew in 2019 — saying in an Instagram post that she was "with him every step of the way" — Prince Harry seemingly distanced himself from his uncle during a secretly recorded phone call with Russian pranksters who pretended to be Greta Thunberg and her father.

According to The Sun and the Daily Mail, which obtained an audio recording of the prank call, Harry said: "Whatever he has done or hasn't done, is completely separate from me and my wife."

August 2021: Giuffre filed a lawsuit against Andrew accusing him of sexual assault.

Virginia Roberts Giuffre at a press conference in 2019.
Virginia Giuffre at a press conference in 2019.Associated Press

In a complaint filed at a New York federal court in August, Giuffre said Andrew was aware of her age and that she was a victim of sex trafficking when she was forced to have sex with him in 2001.

"I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me. The powerful and the rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions," Giuffre said, via her lawyers, in a statement to ABC.

Court documents unsealed in September showed that the lawsuit was delivered to a police officer to Prince Andrew's residence at the Royal Lodge in Windsor, England, on August 27, Insider's Michelle Mark reported.

September 2021: The prince hired an attorney who previously defended Armie Hammer.

Prince Andrew appearing on BBC Newsnight with Emily Maitlis.
Prince Andrew appearing on the BBC's "Newsnight."BBC Newsnight

Defense attorney Andrew Brettler represented Andrew at a virtual hearing in September, where he argued that the royal wasn't effectively served the lawsuit the month prior, and described the lawsuit as "baseless, non-viable, and possibly unlawful."

As Insider's Sinéad Baker and Michelle Mark reported, unsealed court documents revealed that a process server left the legal documents at Andrew's address with a police officer, who promised to forward them to Andrew's team.

A UK judge ruled that Giuffre's lawyers could legally serve Andrew the legal documents, as the Daily Mail's Rebecca English reported.

October 2021: The Telegraph reported that the Queen is privately funding Prince Andrew's legal bills.

Queen Elizabeth
Queen Elizabeth II.WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Queen has agreed to fund her son's legal defense through the private income she earns through her Duchy of Lancaster estate, according to an exclusive report by The Telegraph's Victoria Ward on October 1.

The publication reports that Brettler, the prince's lead defense attorney of the LA-based firm Lavley Singer, charges up to $2,000 an hour. Royal courtiers believe the final sum "will run into millions," and expect the case to last for months or even years, the publication added.

December 2021: Prince Andrew attempted to block the lawsuit by accusing Giuffre of not living in the United States.

Prince Andrew
Lawyers for the prince filed a motion regarding Giuffre's residency in December.Reuters

As Insider's Jacob Shamsian reported, lawyers for the Duke of York filed a motion on December 28 claiming that Giuffre doesn't have jurisdiction to file her lawsuit in the US because she currently lives in Australia.

The motion asked the court to pause discovery in the case and demanded that Giuffre sit for a two-hour deposition about her residency, as Shamsian reported.

As Shamsian wrote, in their motion from August, Giuffre's lawyers argued that the case was properly filed in Manhattan federal court because she is a citizen of Colorado and some of the sexual misconduct she alleges took place in the state of New York.

Giuffre's lawyer Sigrid McCawley said the motion would "achieve nothing" in a December 24 letter filed as an exhibit as part of the prince's motion.

"Even if your contention that this Court lacks jurisdiction over Plaintiff's claims were correct (it is not), Plaintiff would simply refile her claims in New York state court," McCawley wrote in the letter.

December 2021: Giuffre requested that Prince Andrew prove he cannot sweat.

Prince Andrew
Prince Andrew claims he cannot sweat.Chris Jackson/Getty Images

In a 2019 BBC interview, Giuffre said that Prince Andrew was "sweating all over me" the night she alleges he sexually assaulted her in London, as CNN reported.

But in his 2019 BBC interview, the royal said that he has a medical condition that prevents him from sweating.

On December 30, Giuffre asked the prince's lawyers to prove he cannot sweat in a court filing.

"If Prince Andrew truly has no documents concerning his communications with Maxwell or Epstein, his travel to Florida, New York, or various locations in London, his alleged medical inability to sweat, or anything that would support the alibis he gave during his BBC interview, then continuing with discovery will not be burdensome to him at all," the filing read.

December 2021: Judges ruled that a $500,000 settlement between Epstein and Giuffre would be unsealed as part of the ongoing lawsuit.

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Judges ruled a settlement between Epstein and Giuffre should be unsealed.Toby Melville/Reuters

On December 29, judges ruled that a 2009 settlement between Epstein and Giuffre should be unsealed as part of her civil lawsuit against the royal, as The Guardian reported.

The prince's lawyer Andrew Brettler claimed the settlement prevented Giuffre from taking legal action against "third-part beneficiary to the release," as Insider's Jacob Shamsian reported.

"Because Prince Andrew is a senior member of the British royal family, he falls into one of the expressly identified categories of persons, i.e., royalty, released from liability under the Release Agreement, along with politicians, academicians, businessmen, and others allegedly associated with Epstein," Andrew's attorneys wrote.

Giuffre's lawyer David Boies denied that the settlement was a "get out of jail free card," saying that it "at most" provided legal exemption for people involved in a Florida lawsuit connected to Epstein, as Reuters reported.

January 2022: The 2009 settlement was unsealed, and it did not specifically name Prince Andrew as a beneficiary of the agreement. However, his lawyers argue that he is among "other potential defendants" cited in the document.

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Prince Andrew leaves St. Mary the Virgin church in Hillington, near royal Sandringham estate, in Norfolk, Britain January 19, 2020. REUTERS/Chris Radburn
The settlement was unsealed Monday.Reuters

The $500,000 settlement was unsealed on January 3 and did not specifically name the prince as a beneficiary of the agreement.

As part of the 2009 settlement, Giuffre agreed to release Epstein and "other potential defendants," defined as "second parties" — which appears to be a reference to Epstein's legal team and employees — from any other civil lawsuits. Family members, tax services, government subpoenas, and anyone else who might have access to the settlement were the only "third parties" mentioned, as Insider's Shamsian reported.

Although the document does not explicitly name Prince Andrew, "royalty," or anyone else as "other potential defendants," the Duke of York's attorneys have argued that he falls into that category.

"To avoid being dragged into future legal disputes, Epstein negotiated for this broad release, insisting that it cover any and all persons who Giuffre identified as potential targets of future lawsuits, regardless of the merit — or lack thereof — to any such claims," Andrew's attorneys wrote in an October court filing asking a judge to dismiss the lawsuit. "Epstein's former attorney, Alan Dershowitz, and Prince Andrew are axiomatically among the releases in that 2009 settlement agreement."

As Shamsian reported, Brettler, an attorney for Prince Andrew, told Insider his team contends that the duke is among the "other potential defendants," "as evidenced by the allegations in Ms. Giuffre's 2009 Complaint against Epstein that specifically mentions 'royalty' as one of the categories of persons who allegedly abused her."

Legal experts Insider spoke to on January 3 said that the settlement may help Prince Andrew get Giuffre's case dismissed, but it will depend on how a judge interprets the language of the settlement.

Buckingham Palace and representatives for the Duke of York did not respond to Insider's request for comment.

January 2022: A judge denied the Duke of York's request to dismiss Giuffre's lawsuit.

virginia giuffre david boies
Virginia Giuffre and lawyer David Boies arrive for a hearing in the criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein at Federal Court in New York, U.S., August 27, 2019.REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The duke's argument that the 2009 settlement between Epstein and Giuffre from an earlier lawsuit protected him from future lawsuits was dismissed by US District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan on Wednesday.

Judge Kaplan said the duke's motion to dismiss Giuffre's lawsuit was "denied in all respects," The Independent reported.

Although Giuffre's attorneys have said they want the case to go to trial, the new ruling does not prevent the possibility of a settlement from being reached before then.

January 2022: The Queen strips Andrew's military titles and patronages.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York & Queen Elizabeth II watch the horses in the parade ring as they attend Day 2 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2014 in Ascot, England.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York & Queen Elizabeth II watch the horses in the parade ring as they attend Day 2 of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 18, 2014 in Ascot, England.Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Buckingham Palace issued a statement in January saying that the Duke of York will face the lawsuit as a private citizen.

"With The Queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen," a spokesperson for Buckingham Palace said in a statement sent to Insider. "The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen."

Andrew will no longer use his HRH title in any official capacity, a royal source told Insider.

February 2022: Andrew reached an out of court settlement with Giuffre.

prince andrew
Princess Anne, Princess Royal, and Prince Andrew, Duke of York, attend the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle on April 17, 2021, in Windsor, England.Pool/Max Mumby/Getty Images

Andrew reached a settlement with Giuffre on Tuesday, according to court documents obtained by Insider.

The prince intends to make a "substantial donation to Ms. Giuffre's charity in support of victims' right," the sum of which was not disclosed, according to a joint statement made in the court filing.

The statement added: "Prince Andrew has never intended to malign Ms. Giuffre's character, and he accepts that she has suffered both as an established victim of abuse and as a result of unfair public attacks. It is known that Jeffrey Epstein trafficked countless young girls over many years."

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