How Prince Andrew Photo Conspiracy Theory Dragged Accuser Into $10M Lawsuit

Prince Andrew's accuser Virginia Giuffre is being sued for $10 million after a dispute sparked by a conspiracy theory surrounding the famous photo of the royal with his arm around her.

Giuffre accused Queen Elizabeth II's favorite son of rape in a New York civil lawsuit that he settled out of court in March 2022. Andrew denied Giuffre's allegations but paid her an undisclosed sum.

Among the evidence was a famous picture of the Duke of York with his arm around Giuffre said to have been taken by Jeffrey Epstein at Ghislaine Maxwell's London townhouse in the early 2000s.

Giuffre says she was forced to have sex with Andrew for the first time shortly afterward.

While the image was key evidence in that civil lawsuit, it also appears to have had a role in triggering a second lawsuit filed for a dizzying $10 million in New York by Rina Oh, who said she was also a victim of Epstein.

Giuffre and Oh both say they were abused by Jeffrey Epstein but they have also accused each other of posing as victims for money.

They are now locked in a big-money lawsuit initiated by Oh which also includes a counterclaim by Giuffre.

Andrew With Arm Around Virginia Giuffre
Prince Andrew puts his arm around Virginia Giuffre while Ghislaine Maxwell looks on in an image Giuffre says was taken by Jeffrey Epstein in London in the early 2000s. The photo sparked a $10 million lawsuit between Giuffre and Rina Oh. Virginia Giuffre

The case focuses on tweets posted by Giuffre accusing Oh of being an Epstein recruiter and former girlfriend of the convicted pedophile.

Giuffre's lawyers say she was exercising her right to freedom of speech after Oh disputed the authenticity of the Andrew photo during an interview for the podcast BROKEN: Seeking Justice on an episode titled The Recruiters.

A May 2022 court filing, seen by Newsweek, describes that in the podcast Oh "says that Prince Andrew 'may not be wrong when he said that the picture was doctored.'"

"Ms. Oh goes on to claim that in the original photograph the 'lighting doesn't look right' and makes further comments suggesting that the photograph was manipulated, and she believes that it is a 'composite image'," the lawsuit continued.

Giuffre's lawyers argue the tweets that followed were a legitimate response to Oh's comments on the podcast and have countersued using anti-SLAPP laws, which are designed to prevent "Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation."

Their court filing reads: "In responding to the false statements that Ms. Oh made during the above-mentioned interview for The Recruiters podcast, Ms. Giuffre was communicating in a public forum in connection with an issue of public interest and engaging in lawful conduct in furtherance of her exercise of the constitutional right of free speech in connection with an issue of public interest.

"Ms. Giuffre's exercise of her rights is exactly the class of rights intended to be
protected by the New York anti-SLAPP laws."

The first Giuffre tweet included in Oh's complaint was posted on October 28, 2020, the day the podcast interview aired.

Quoted in Oh's court filing, it read: "Ladies & Gentlemen meet Rina who
now is pleading innocence since there's a $VCF$ [victims' compensation fund] she has decided to come out as a victim, when on the record she was #Epstein's GF"& was rewarded with $$ in trade for victims- real victims. May karma be upheld
and justice be done."

Another tweet from the same day, also quoted in the filing, read: "Rina- if you read this I hope you live in shame for the rest of your life. You don't intimidate me any longer & the physical & mental scares you left me with should be enough to put your a** in jail, my line in the sand is drawn & your guilty! #LockHerUp."

Giuffre accused Oh of abusing her during their time in the orbit of Jeffrey Epstein, including by cutting her.

"Ms. Giuffre was the victim of the sadomasochist sexual and physical abuse perpetrated against her by Ms. Oh, including cutting, slashing and other physical injuries during the sadomasochist sessions that have left Ms. Giuffre with permanent emotional and physical scars," said Giuffre's lawyers in their filing.

Oh sued for defamation and said Giuffre knew or should have known her statements were false.

A court filing by her lawyers, seen by Newsweek, reads: "[Giuffre] knew or should have known that, at all relevant times, [Oh] was a young victim of Epstein and not a co-conspirator of Epstein or a part of his inner circle of criminals (as concluded by the authorities, including the FBI).

"[Giuffre] knew or should have known that, just as [Giuffre] claims purportedly happened to her, at all times, [Oh] was being used, abused, exploited and manipulated by Epstein and his inner circle."

It added: "In light of the malicious, intentional and/or willful nature of [Giuffre's] actions, [Oh] is entitled to punitive damages, in an amount to be determined at trial, but believed to be in excess of Ten Million ($10,000,000) Dollars."

However, it does not stop there as a follow-up June 2022 court filing by Oh alleges Giuffre sexually abused her.

As seen by Newsweek, it reads: "[Oh] never perpetrated any sadomasochistic acts or sexual abuse upon [Giuffre]. To the contrary, [Giuffre] (who was of legal age at the time) sexually assaulted [Oh].

"Indeed, [Oh] was surprised when she was called to the massage room to see Epstein, and found Epstein and [Giuffre] waiting for her. [Giuffre] then proceeded to touch [Oh] without [Oh]'s consent and much to her horror."

"[Oh] did not bring three women to Epstein for sexual purposes," it added. "Whereas, on the other hand, [Giuffre] recruited numerous girls, including many minors, for Epstein and Maxwell, whom [Giuffre] groomed for Epstein and to be sexually abused and sex trafficked."

Oh's filing says Giuffre could herself be accused of being motivated by money after she "received large cash payouts" from the victims' fund and was paid "$15 million by suing and then settling with Prince Andrew of the United Kingdom."

The court case is ongoing and the current schedule suggests a trial sometime in 2023.

Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre
Prince Andrew is seen with his arm around Virginia Giuffre in Ghislaine Maxwell's London townhouse in the early 2000s in an image submitted as evidence to her lawsuit against the royal. Giuffre is also seen at a 2019 press conference in New York. Virginia Giuffre and AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews