Roberts, who claims she was forced to have sex with the Prince by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein when she was just 17, filed a multi-million-pound civil action in New York.
Speaking to The Mail on Sunday, her lawyer David Boies said the bombshell lawsuit ‘would be based on her being lent out to Prince Andrew for sex by Jeffrey Epstein and [her] being under 18’.
Prince Andrew is seen driving his car in Windsor earlier this year. He is yet to respond to her suit, filed in New York City on Monday
The Duke of York has always vehemently denied all charges made by Virginia Roberts
He added the suit would include claims of ‘improper sexual violations, physical and emotional distress’ and would include a claim for damages.
Boies said: ‘To use a common phrase here in the United States, ‘Time’s up.’ ‘
The Duke of York has always vehemently denied all charges made by Roberts.
Buckingham Palace previously issued a statement saying: ‘It is emphatically denied that The Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation.’
The filing of a civil action against the Duke in America is certain to cause huge embarrassment for the Royal family as lawyers will seek to question him under oath about his sex life. He could also be forced to hand over texts, emails and private letters.
The filing of a civil action against the Duke in America is certain to cause huge embarrassment for the Royal family. Virginia Roberts is pictured in Australia in February 2011
A defamation suit, filed by Roberts in 2015 against Ghislaine Maxwell, ended in a settlement – but deeply embarrassing depositions in which Maxwell discussed her sex life were made public last year.
A source said: ‘This could be devastating for Andrew. If he chooses to fight it and is deposed [forced to give evidence], then those depositions could end up being made public.
‘If he ignores it, he could be found guilty in absentia which would be a public relations disaster.’
Roberts, now a 37-year-old mother of three, lives in Australia.
Under the New York Child Victims Act, Roberts had until next Saturday to file the civil action which will include her claims that she and Prince Andrew had sex three times in 2001.
Although Roberts was then above the UK legal age of consent, in New York a child is considered to be anyone under 18.
Fergie: He’s telling the truth, 100%
Sarah Ferguson has said she is convinced that her former husband Prince Andrew is telling the truth about his part in the scandal surrounding convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
The Duchess of York said she was ‘100 per cent’ certain that her ex-husband was being honest when he denied seeing anything untoward during the time he spent with the financier.
She told the Financial Times: ‘I want him [Andrew] to come through this. I want him to win.’
When asked why she was sure of his probity, she replied: ‘No question. I know everything about him. I think he is an extraordinary person.’ The Duchess said she and Andrew, who split in 1997, were ‘the happiest divorced couple in the world’, living under the same roof at Royal Lodge, Windsor, but with their own rooms.
‘We support each other like pillars of strengths,’ she added.
She alleges the first encounter took place at the London home of Epstein’s alleged ‘madam’ Maxwell; the second at Epstein’s $77 million New York mansion and the third during an ‘orgy’ on his private island in the Caribbean.
Saturday’s deadline was created by the New York Child Victims Act which came into law in 2019.
Previously, victims had up to five years after turning 18 to file a claim against an alleged abuser.
But the new law gave victims a one-off window to make a legal claim, regardless of how old their claim is. The timeline to file those claims expires next Saturday.
Should the Duke ignore the lawsuit, Boies warned it could go to trial without him and the court could enter a default judgment.
The amount of damages would then be set and ‘that judgment could be enforced any place in the world’, Boies said.
Weeks ago Boies sent a second formal letter to the Duke’s lawyers offering to sign an agreement, known as a tolling agreement, that extended the statute of limitations so that both sides could negotiate.
The letter said that Roberts needed to file a claim ‘now’ or she risks not being able to file a lawsuit.
So far it has been ignored, according to Boies.
Epstein hanged himself in prison in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
Maxwell, 59, was arrested last July and is due to go on trial in November for allegedly recruiting underage girls for Epstein.
She has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Roberts declined to comment.
A spokesman for Prince Andrew declined to comment.