- Prince Andrew has been attached to many scandals
- This one in particular is with Virginia Giuffre
- Learn more about the infamous photo gone viral
Several years ago, Virginia Giuffre came forward with claims of sexual assault against Prince Andrew. Her allegations alone are harrowing, but Giuffre backed up her story with a photo of herself and the royal.
So, what are the facts of that Prince Andrew photo with his accuser? Ahead of Prince Andrew's sex abuse trial, here's a recap of everything we know about the picture.
The Prince Andrew photo with accuser Virginia Giuffre
First, some background. Prince Andrew, son of Queen Elizabeth II, fell from grace when he was scrutinized over his connections to convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
That controversy came in tandem with allegations that he abused Virginia Giuffre, a survivor of Epstein's child sex trafficking ring.
Prince Andrew has always denied Giuffre's claim, but he admitted to the friendship with Epstein, who was also on trial for sex trafficking when he died in prison in 2019.
Giuffre says the Duke of York abused her three times when she was underage (17) in 2001. The photo of the two was taken that year just before Andrew abused her, Giuffre claims.
She says that Epstein himself took the photo after he brought her to England and introduced her to Prince Andrew.
In her words: "Right after that photo was taken, I was sexually abused by Prince Andrew for the first time," Giuffre said in the doc Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich.
The photo: In a partially unbuttoned dress shirt, Andrew smiles and puts a familiar arm around the waist of Giuffre. They pose in the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell.
Maxwell is also seen in the background of the image. She's often called Epstein's partner and was herself convicted in December 2021 on charges including sex trafficking.
As told in Filthy Rich, Giuffre's story goes that the group spent a night out on the town, after which Maxwell told her she must have sex with Prince Andrew.
Giuffre also says she was later trafficked to Prince Andrew once in the US and once in the Virgin Islands. Again, he has categorically denied these accusations.
Fake? How Prince Andrew explained Giuffre, Maxwell picture
For his part, Prince Andrew said he has "no recollection" of ever meeting Giuffre. In his BBC interview, he added: "I have absolutely no memory of that photograph ever being taken."
He didn't call it a fake, however, when asked by Emily Maitlis in the interview. "Nobody can prove whether or not that photograph has been doctored, but I don't recollect that photograph ever being taken," he said.
He further defended himself by saying that, as a royal, he would never "hug" in a photograph.
The BBC notes that Giuffre kept Epstein's photo and first released it in a 2015 defamation suit against Ghislaine Maxwell.
After a quiet year, Prince Andrew — and that infamous photo — is now under the microscope again. In 2021, Giuffre filed a sexual abuse lawsuit against him in New York.
The Prince's legal team failed to get the suit dismissed, and the judge ruled that they would go to trial between September and December 2022.
For those who contend the Prince Andrew photo is a fake, there is continuing evidence that it is not a fake photo.
Ahead of the trial back in 2021, the Queen stripped her son of his royal patronages and military roles.