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Prince Andrew's accuser asks to be believed in first U.K. interview

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Prince Andrew's accuser asks to be believed in first U.K. interview
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LONDON — A woman who has said she was trafficked by the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to Prince Andrew implored the British people to "stand up beside" her, according to comments released in advance of a BBC Panorama interview set to air later on Monday."This is not some sordid sex story. This is a story of being trafficked. This is a story of abuse and this is a story of your guys' royalty," said Virginia Roberts Giuffre, according to quotes released ahead of the broadcast.In an interview with the BBC on Nov. 15, which was filmed after BBC Panorama filmed its interview with Roberts Giuffre, Andrew said he did not recall ever meeting her.Roberts Giuffre, who says she was 17 when she was trafficked by Epstein, has alleged that she metwith Andrew on three separate occasions. The legal age of consent in the U.K. is 16."I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever," Prince Andrew said in the BBC Newsnight interview.He also said he had "absolutely no memory" of posing for a picture with her, in which an Epstein associate, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, was in the background. Giuffre's allegations against Andrew came to light in court filings as part of a lawsuit involving Epstein. In 2015, a judge ruled they be struck from the record but did not rule on their veracity. Following the widely criticized interview, Andrew announced that he was stepping away from public duties because of the controversy surrounding his past friendship with Epstein. He has said that he is "willing to help any appropriate law enforcement agency with their investigations, if required."In Roberts Giuffre's first British interview with the BBC, she rehashed the details of an alleged night out in London with Queen Elizabeth II's son, echoing comments she made in an interview with NBC's Savannah Guthrie that aired in September. At the time of Roberts Giuffre's interview with NBC in September, Buckingham Palace issued a statement that "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."In the BBC interview, Giuffre said she went to a club with Andrew, where they danced, and he gave her alcohol."We went into the VIP section. There was no waiting in the lines obviously — you were with a prince," she said, according to the released remarks."He is the most hideous dancer I've ever seen in my life. I mean it was horrible and this guy was sweating all over me, like his sweat was like it was raining basically everywhere I was just like grossed out from it but I knew I had to keep him happy because that's what Jeffrey and Ghislaine would have expected from me," she said, according to the BBC press release.

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Roberts Giuffre went on to insist that she was telling the truth and not Andrew."I implore the people in the U.K. to stand up beside me, to help me fight this fight, to not accept this as being OK," she said, according to the remarks released in advance of the 4 p.m. ET broadcast.Epstein, 66, died by suicide in a federal prison cell in New York City in August after he was arrested on sex trafficking charges. He faced up to 45 years in prison on allegations that he sexually abused dozens of girls as young as 14 and young women at his homes in New York and Florida from 2002 to 2005. He pleaded not guilty.

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