In court documents recently released, Prince Andrew was accused of touching a young woman’s breast at the Manhattan mansion of Jeffrey Epstein; the wealthy financier found dead while awaiting federal sex trafficking charges in New York.
On Friday, August 9, a judge released the documents from a 2015 defamation case involving Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and media heiress accused of acquiring underage girls for her boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein and his social circle of the famous, rich and powerful. And the social circle includes The Duke of York.
The defamation case papers contains an allegation by a woman named Johanna Sjoberg, stating that Prince Andrew groped her breast while sitting on a couch in Epstein's Manhattan apartment in 2001.
In 2015, a woman by the name of Virginia Giuffre alleged of being the victim of Epstein and sued him. She alleged that Maxwell defamed her after the media heiress claimed she was a liar. She had also alleged that Epstein forced her into sexual encounters with Prince Andrew.
The Buckingham Palace denied the allegations against The Duke of York on several occasions. In 2015, they stated that "any suggestion of impropriety with underage minors" by the duke was "categorically untrue" and that the allegations were "false and without any foundation".
The deposition of Sjoberg cited in the documents filed by Giuffre's lawyer in January 2017, involving Prince Andrew, also accused Maxwell of introducing her to Epstein. Giuffre also alleged that Epstein started abusing her at the age of 16. Her lawyers said, "Ms Sjoberg’s testimony corroborates Ms Giuffre’s account of how defendant recruited her (and others) under a ruse of a legitimate job in order to bring them into the household to have sex with Epstein."
In the court documents released recently, Sjoberg's testification read,
I just remember someone suggesting a photo, and they told us to go get on the couch. And so Andrew and Virginia sat on the couch, and they put the puppet, the puppet on her lap. And so then I sat on Andrew’s lap, and 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.
The documents also reveal a photo of the duke and according to Giuffre's attorney he had his hand around the bare waist of Giuffre "while she was a minor child, while posing with [Maxwell], inside [Maxwell’s] house in London". She was 17 while Sjoberg was 21, and Andrew was 41 at the time.
The lawyers continued in the papers, "This particular photograph corroborates Ms Giuffre’s claims, and there is no other reasonable explanation why an American child should be in the company of adults not her kin, in the London house owned by the girlfriend of a now convicted sex offender".
Maxwell's and Epstein's lawyers did not respond to their respective requests for comments while Maxwell denied the allegations. Epstein, however, was arrested and pleaded not guilty in the case. He previously admitted to prostituting minors in 2008 and spent 18 months in jail.
Immediately a day after the documents were released, Epstein was found dead in his jail cell from an apparent suicide. He was facing federal sex trafficking charges in New York and awaiting trial while under arrest. He was also accused of raping a girl when she was 15 who came forward this July.