‘He took my sexual innocence’
A woman who has accused Jeffrey Epstein of sexually abusing her when she was a 15-year-old girl has urged Prince Andrew to come forward and share what he knows about his former friend.
The alleged victim, 31, known only as Jane Doe, read an emotional statement at a press conference with lawyer Gloria Allred in Los Angeles on Monday.
She accused Epstein of abusing her at his New Mexico home after meeting his secretary in New York in 2004.
She is the latest of more than 12 women to sue Epstein's estate for alleged sexual abuses. Epstein committed suicide in a New York jail cell in August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges. He was already a convicted sex offender, having been found guilty of soliciting a minor for prostitution in 2008.
On Monday, Jane Doe read an emotional statement in which she said: "Epstein took my sexual innocence in front of a wall of famed photographs of him shaking hands and smiling with celebrities and political leaders. I was only 15 years old."
"After he wanted to talk with me about what had just been my first sexual experience and directed me to take time to myself that night to cry. He said that would be beneficial to my growth."
She said Epstein wrote a check for her to go to university and the billionaire "wielded great villainous power in his ability to make his victims feel shame of their backgrounds."
"To the point where we felt grateful of any attention or invitation into his inner billionaire playground no matter the trauma it brought upon us."
"It was the weight of Epstein's wealth, the isolation to which he subjected me and his discussion of his social connections which crushed me far more than his physical strength," she said.
Jane Doe's allegations did not relate to Prince Andrew and she has never met the Queen's second son. However she urged him to come forward and give a statement to authorities.
"Prince Andrew, and any others who were close to Epstein, should come forward and give a statement under oath on what information they have," she said.
The call is the latest in a chorus from lawyers, politicians and royal experts who have urged Prince Andrew to speak to US authorities about his former friend.
On Saturday, Prince Andrew gave a BBC interview in which he denied any knowledge of sexual abuse allegedly carried out by Epstein. He said he flew to New York in 2010 to effectively end his friendship with him, two years after Epstein's conviction on sex charges.
Prince Andrew was adamant there was "no indication" of abuse in Epstein's properties.
"And if there was, you have to remember that at the time I was Patron of the NSPCC's Full Stop campaign so I was close up with what was going on in those time about getting rid of abuse to children so I knew what the things were to look for but I never saw them." he said.
He also denied having sex with Virginia Giuffre, another of Epstein's alleged victims, who has claimed that she was trafficked by Epstein and forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17.
"I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever," the Duke of York said.
He flatly denied having sex with her, saying he had an alibi of being at a Pizza Express restaurant as well as a medical condition that meant he couldn't sweat at the time.
"I don't know if I've met her but no, I have no recollection of meeting her," he told Newsnight, adding that he had "absolutely no memory" of a photograph of him with Ms Giuffre ever being taken.
The royal interview has been described as an "articulated lorry crash" by royal commentators who were shocked it was given the green-light in the first place.
The fallout has led to the Duke of York's main entrepreneurial project, Pitch@Palace, coming into doubt after major sponsor KPMG said it would withdraw support due to negative publicity.
Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca was considering its support while insurance company AON wanted its logo removed from the website.
Students from the University of Huddersfield are also calling for the Duke to be sacked from his role as Chancellor, with campaign leader Tristan Smith saying he should not be in a position of "authority and respect."
Royal experts are now wondering whether Prince Andrew can survive the storm and remain a working member of the royal family.