Prince Andrew, the queen's second son, is being sued by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who alleges that Andrew raped and sexually assaulted her in New York in 2001 when she was 17. She claims that Andrew's friend Jeffery Epstein trafficked her to him and that the prince knew it.
Andrew, 61, has been under fire in Britain since at least 2011 for his friendship with Epstein, the convicted American sex offender who died in jail in 2019. Giuffre, 38, has been airing her allegations against Andrew publicly since 2015.
Andrew has strenuously denied all of her accusations, claiming he didn't remember meeting her even though a picture of them together was widely shared on the internet.
In 2019, after a disastrous interview with the BBC about his Epstein friendship and Giuffre's allegations, Andrew "stepped back" from royal duties.
Here are some of the key developments in the allegations against Prince Andrew.
Queen Elizabeth II removes Prince Andrew's military titles, royal patronages amid sex abuse lawsuit
Queen Elizabeth II revoked Prince Andrew's military associations and royal patronages Thursday, a day after a federal judge in New York refused to dismiss a sexual abuse lawsuit brought against him by an American woman.
"With The Queen's approval and agreement, The Duke of York's military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to The Queen. The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen," Buckingham Palace said in a statement announcing the news.
►Royal patronages stripped: Queen Elizabeth removes Prince Andrew's military titles, patronages amid sex abuse lawsuit
Sexual abuse lawsuit against Prince Andrew can move forward, judge rules
A federal judge gave the green light Wednesday to a lawsuit against Prince Andrew by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who says he sexually abused her when she was 17.
U.S. District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan wrote in an opinion that Andrew's lawyers failed in their challenge to the constitutionality of the civil suit Giuffre filed against him in August.
His lawyers had said the lawsuit lacked specificity and was disqualified by a settlement she reached in 2009 with lawyers for Epstein.
►Prince Andrew lawsuit: Sexual abuse lawsuit against Prince Andrew can move forward, judge rules
Prince Andrew accuser’s settlement with Jeffrey Epstein unsealed, her lawyer says it's 'irrelevant'
A woman who alleges Epstein sex-trafficked her to Prince Andrew accepted a $500,000 settlement from Epstein in 2009 and agreed she wouldn't sue him or any other “potential defendant,” according to a court document unsealed Jan. 3.
The Duke of York's lawyers say the agreement between accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre and Epstein should bar Giuffre from suing Andrew now.
Giuffre's lead lawyer, David Boies, said the 2009 settlement is "irrelevant" to the lawsuit against Andrew because it doesn't mention the prince by name. He said in a statement that Giuffre's team sought to have the settlement made public to refute Andrew's argument that it absolved him of liability by implication.
►Virginia Giuffre's settlement with Epstein: Prince Andrew accuser’s settlement with Jeffrey Epstein unsealed, her lawyer says it's 'irrelevant'
Ghislaine Maxwell, associate of Jeffrey Epstein, convicted in sex abuse case
The British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was convicted Dec. 29 of luring teenage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein.
The verdict capped a monthlong trial featuring sordid accounts of the sexual exploitation of girls as young as 14, told by four women who described being abused as teens in the 1990s and early 2000s at Epstein's palatial homes in Florida, New York and New Mexico.
Jurors deliberated for five full days before finding Maxwell guilty of five of six counts.
►Epstein associate convicted: Ghislaine Maxwell convicted in sex abuse case
Woman in Ghislaine Maxwell trial testifies that Prince Andrew accuser brought her to Jeffrey Epstein’s house
One of Maxwell’s accusers testified that she was just 14 when the British socialite had her undress, fondled her and told her she had a “great body” that Epstein would enjoy.
The woman, who was identified only by her first name, Carolyn, was the third witness to testify at the sex trafficking trial about being sexually abused by Epstein in encounters facilitated by Maxwell, his one-time girlfriend and eventual employee.
Carolyn offered some of the most explicit descriptions so far at the New York trial of Maxwell’s alleged grooming of underage victims, who prosecutors say were lured into “a pyramid scheme of abuse.”
At times choking up, she testified that she was a heavy drug user and middle school dropout when she was first taken to Epstein’s estate in Palm Beach, Florida, by an older teenage friend, Virginia Roberts, now known as Virginia Giuffre.
Giuffre claims Epstein and Maxwell flew her around the world, starting at age 17, to have sex with numerous famous and influential men, including Britain’s Prince Andrew.
'Game over'? Prince Andrew has few options for restoring reputation after Jeffrey Epstein accuser's lawsuit
In what appears to be a first for a senior royal, the Duke of York – second son of Queen Elizabeth II, ninth in line to the throne – has been sued in federal court in New York and accused of sex crimes, including being a knowing beneficiary of the alleged sex-trafficking of a teen girl by Prince Andrew's former friend Epstein.
As far as his already tattered public image is concerned, the damage to Andrew is irreparable, and his legal team's strategy has been puzzling silence.
But that's probably the right course because his legal predicament might not be as dire as it looks owing to the intricacies of international law, says Mark Stephens, a specialist in international law with the prominent London firm Howard Kennedy.
"There's no good outcome to this for Prince Andrew" in terms of his reputation, Stephens told USA TODAY. "The best option for him is to not make anything worse."
Prince Andrew to 'step back from public duties' after Jeffrey Epstein fallout
Andrew, the Duke of York, will step away from his public duties as a royal following the fallout from his past friendship with Epstein.
"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," the queen's second son said in a statement released in November 2019 by Buckingham Palace. "Therefore, I have asked Her Majesty if I may step back from public duties for the foreseeable future, and she has given her permission."
Andrew's decision to step back from public duties came after he sat down with the BBC in Buckingham Palace for a taped interview that aired several days earlier, in which he emphatically denied once again that he slept with one of Epstein's alleged "sex slaves" when she was 17.
►Prince Andrew's BBC interview: Prince Andrew to 'step back from public duties' after Jeffrey Epstein fallout
Prince Andrew says he did not 'witness or suspect any' Jeffrey Epstein behavior
Andrew sought to clarify his "former association or friendship" with Epstein after the financier was found dead in a Riker's Island cell.
In an August 2019 statement to USA TODAY from Buckingham Palace, the Duke of York said he is "eager to clarify the facts to avoid further speculation."
"During the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year," the statement read. "I have stayed in a number of his residences. At no stage during the limited time I spent with him did I see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction."
It is undisputed that Andrew and Epstein were friends from the 1990s: A picture of Queen Elizabeth II's second son strolling with Epstein in Central Park has rattled around the internet for years.
But a 2010 video published by The Mail on Sunday showing Andrew peering out from behind the front doors to the $56 million Upper East Side mansion where Epstein was accused of engaging in sex acts with underage girls suggests Andrew was still in touch with Epstein after he was convicted of soliciting a minor for prostitution in Florida in 2008.
►Palace denies Andrew's involvement: Prince Andrew says he did not 'witness or suspect any' Jeffrey Epstein behavior
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How Virginia Giuffre's allegations against Prince Andrew have unfolded