Prince Andrew’s accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says she was sex trafficked for the royal by the deceased financier Jeffrey Epstein, worked as a prostitute before starting to work for the billionaire, court documents filed to New York’s District Court claim.
The papers, cited by the Daily Telegraph, were reportedly submitted to the court by Epstein’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz on 20 November as a part of his response to Roberts Giuffre’s defamation lawsuit filed against him in April 2019. The 37-year-old woman says that the Harvard professor was also among those people for whom she was trafficked by Epstein, but Dershowitz denies this.
Among the documents he has filed to defend himself against Roberts Giuffre’s legal action, is a transcript of a 2019 conversation between freelance journalist Sharon Churcher and New York publisher Tony Lyons that makes some bombshell claims about the alleged victim’s past before she started working for Epstein.
Who These People Are and What Their Private Conversation Revealed
Back in 2011, Churcher was the first one to describe Roberts Giuffre as Epstein’s unnamed victim in a newspaper interview. Her subsequent article for the Daily Mail disclosed the woman’s identity, and the famous photo of Prince Andrew with his arm around Roberts Giuffre’s waist was published. The picture is said to have been taken by Epstein in Ghislaine Maxwell’s flat in London. However, Prince Andrew has previously denied the authenticity of the image during his bombshell BBC interview aired last year.
Meanwhile, Tony Lyons’s publishing house, Skyhorse Group, has published Dershowitz’s books in the past.
Churcher and Lyons are said to have met at Skyhorse's headquarters in New York in October 2019 to discuss Churcher’s upcoming book on the “#MeToo” anti-harassment campaign.
In the 80-minute conversation believed to have been recorded by Lyons, Churcher not only apparently revealed that Roberts Giuffre worked in the sex industry before being taken on board by Maxwell and Epstein but also that she had lied about her age when this had happened.
“She took a year off [her age]. Apparently she was 16, not 15, when she was recruited [by Epstein]. But she'd been on the game for about a year then. Epstein's women were – he basically had prostitutes,” Churcher was quoted as saying.
The journalist also reportedly admitted that she had paid Epstein’s accuser for their bombshell interview in 2011. According to Churcher’s comments to Lyons, Roberts Giuffre was “suing everybody”, including Dershowitz, in a bid to get paid.
“This really is blackmail,” the reporter allegedly explained.
When Lyons replied to her that it’s unlikely that Dershowitz will become a part of this game Churcher replied: "She'll just move on to other people if she gets away with that one too. She's a big spender. She's spent so much money. Because you see, Epstein paid her off. She had settled with Epstein. She'd taken half a million, I think it was”.
During their talk, the reporter also made some other thought-provoking claims about Roberts Giuffre. Churcher said that Prince Andrew’s alleged victim had probably confused Dershowitz with another Harvard professor who had been friends with Epstein and also couldn’t collaborate with her earlier story about now-President Donald Trump flirting with her when they first met. According to the journalist, Roberts Giuffre could also have doctored some of the messages in their emailed conversation back in 2011 that shortly followed their interview.
Emails in question, as well as a sworn affidavit by Lyons, have now been submitted by Dershowitz at New York court, alongside the transcript.
Commenting on the news, Roberts Giuffre’s attorney Chuck Cooper said his client was now “looking forward to taking Ms Churcher's deposition under oath”.
Accusations Against Prince Andrew
During her 2011 interview with Churcher, Roberts Giuffre claimed that she had met British royal Prince Andrew on at least three occasions – at a London nightclub back in 2001, at Epstein’s mansion in Manhattan the same year and later at the financier’s Caribbean island. Back then, she did not suggest that any sexual interaction has taken place between them.
In December 2014, however, the woman changed the course of her story, claiming in the court files that she was actually forced to have sex with the prince by Epstein back then. The Duke of York rejected these claims, with Buckingham Palace maintaining 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”.
However, Prince Andrew’s rebuttal of the woman’s accusations during his 2019 BBC interview was highly scrutinised by the British public. Not only had the royal defended his friendship with the convicted sex offender who had died in his prison cell in August 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, but also openly said that he does not recall ever meeting Roberts Giuffre, despite there existing a photograph of them together.