The woman at the centre of the underage sex allegations against Prince Andrew has said she believes the FBI holds video evidence of her having sex with Jeffrey Epstein and “some of his powerful friends”.
In a sworn statement in the US courts, Virginia Roberts revealed this week that she believes Epstein “maintained videos in some rooms where I had sex with other powerful people” – and that “some kind of major cover-up is going on to protect” the billionaire financier.
Now 31 years old, Ms Roberts has claimed that when she was 17 she was forced to have sex with Epstein and a number of his friends while she was his “sex slave”. The age of consent is 18 in Florida, where two unnamed women are petitioning for Epstein to be prosecuted.
Among the friends and associates she claims to have had sex with is Prince Andrew. She said she had sex three times with the prince while she was aged 17.
Prince Andrew and Buckingham Palace have stridently and repeatedly denied the claims. Two weeks ago, speaking at Davos, he reiterated the denial and said: “My focus is my work.”
In a sworn affidavit filed with the US district court in southern Florida, Ms Roberts said she wanted to be allowed to become part of the case for possible prosecution against Epstein “and others who abused underage girls”.
She said: “Based on my knowledge of Epstein and his organization, as well as discussions with the FBI, it is my belief that federal prosecutors likely possess videotapes and photographic images of me as an underage girl having sex with Epstein and some of his powerful friends.”
Ms Roberts also claimed that she feared coming forward before now in part due to the “physical abuse that I suffered when Epstein forced me to have sex with other people”.
“Without going into the details of the sexual activities I was forced to endure, there were times when I was physically abused to the point that I remember fearfully thinking that I didn’t know whether I was going to survive,” she said.
She added that she believed the government was “hiding some of the things that it knows about me and about other powerful people involved in this case”, and said: “I am also worried that this is a very dangerous circuit. By standing up for what is right, I’m worried that Epstein, or others named here, will come after me.”
Epstein’s lawyers have repeatedly denied Ms Roberts’ claims, and did so again in a recent filing that described them “as outlandish and offensive attacks, allegations and plain inventions”.
The financier was convicted in 2008 of one count of soliciting sex from an underage girl and sentenced to 18 months in jail.
Mr Epstein only served 13 months in jail before before being released and forced to register as a sex offender. It has been alleged that Mr Epstein received special treatment from US prosecutor after lobbying from Prince Andrew, something Buckingham Palace has also denied.