A lawsuit has been filed in the US accusing Prince Andrew of sexually abusing Virginia Giuffre, according to one of her lawyers.
Ms Giuffre says she was a victim of financier and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
She claims she was made to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17, but he has always categorically denied any sexual contact or relationship with her.
Ms Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, confirmed to Sky News that a lawsuit had been filed on Monday afternoon in a federal court in Manhattan.
It alleges the prince abused Ms Giuffre on three occasions when she was under 18, nearly two decades ago.
It claims on one occasion she was forced her to have sexual intercourse with Andrew against her will at the London home of Ghislaine Maxwell.
On another occasion, he sexually abused Ms Giuffre in Epstein’s New York mansion, the lawsuit alleges, as well as on a private island that Epstein owned.
Prince Andrew’s representatives said they had no comment on the latest developments.
“In our country, no person, whether President or Prince, is above the law, and no person, no matter how powerless or vulnerable, can be deprived of the law’s protection,” said Mr Boies.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre says she did not come to the decision to take legal action lightly
“Over the past five years, Prince Andrew and his advisors have stonewalled every attempt to resolve this matter without litigation. It is now long past the time for him to be held to account.”
Ms Giuffre said in a statement that the lawsuit was brought under the Child Victims Act to allege she was trafficked to him and sexually abused by him.
“I am holding Prince Andrew accountable for what he did to me,” she said.
“The powerful and rich are not exempt from being held responsible for their actions.
“I hope that other victims will see that it is possible not to live in silence and fear, but to reclaim one’s life by speaking out and demanding justice.
“I did not come to this decision lightly,” she added.
“As a mother and a wife, my family comes first – and I know that this action will subject me to further attacks by Prince Andrew and his surrogates – but I knew if I did not pursue this action, I would be letting them and victims everywhere down.”
In a BBC Newsnight interview in 2019, Prince Andrew said he had never had sex with Ms Giuffre, saying: “I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened.”
The duke said he had “no recollection” of ever meeting her and that there were “a number of things that are wrong” about her account.
He has also suggested a photo showing him with his arm around Ms Giuffre may have been doctored.
Epstein, 66, killed himself in jail in August 2019, a month after being detained on sex trafficking charges.
Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested in an FBI raid last July and has pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking charges in the US.
She faces trial in November.