Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

JOHANNA Sjoberg has made allegations of sexual misconduct against Jeffrey Epstein and Prince Andrew.

But who is she, how did she meet the men, and what has she claimed?

Reuters Jeffrey Epstein faced a string of sexual abuse allegations by multiple women before his death[/caption]

Johanna Sjoberg is one of many women to have accused Epstein of abuse

Who is Johanna Sjoberg?

Johanna Sjoberg is one of many women to have accused Jeffrey Epstein of abuse, claiming to have been recruited through a process described in court documents as “chillingly similar” to that detailed by other alleged victims.

She asserts that, as a young college student in 1999, she was approached by a female associate of Epstein’s, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell, and offered a job answering phones.

She says the job pretext lasted only a day, and that she was later encouraged to interact sexually with both Epstein and Prince Andrew.

The allegations are laid out in written evidence given by Sjoberg for a 2015 defamation suit filed against Maxwell by Virginia Roberts Guiffre, another woman who has made allegations against both men.

Judge Loretta Preska has ruled material related to Sjoberg should be unsealed.

The order was signed on December 18, meaning they should be made public any time from January 1 onwards unless anyone appeals.

Prince Andrew has previously faced criticism for continuing his association with Epstein after the financier’s 2008 conviction for soliciting an underage girl for prostitution.

Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in August while awaiting trial on federal charges of sex trafficking.

He is thought to have killed himself.

Getty – Contributor British socialist Ghislaine Maxwell is alleged to have recruited women to have sex with Epstein[/caption]

What has Sjoberg alleged?

Sjoberg says that after first visiting Epstein at his New York mansion, she was asked to perform sexual massages for him and punished if she didn’t cause him to orgasm.

She also says that shortly after, in mid-1999, she and Guiffre accompanied Epstein to visit Prince Andrew at Balmoral.

The visit is thought to have been in late summer or early autumn, when the Queen is likely to have been in residence at the Scottish castle.

She has claimed he groped her breasts at Jeffrey Epstein’s New York mansion in March 2001, when she was 21 and he was playing with a Spitting Image puppet of himself — a gift from Epstein’s lover Maxwell.

Ms Sjoberg also appears to support Virginia Giuffre (formerly Roberts) who claimed she had sex with Andrew in 2001 when just 17.

The Duke of York denied those allegations and reached an out-of-court settlement with Ms Roberts.

In a deposition Ms Sjoberg said of her 2001 trip to Epstein: “I just remember someone suggesting a photo and they told us to get on the couch. And so Virginia and Andrew sat on the couch and they put the puppet on her lap.

“And so I sat on Andrew’s lap, I believe of my own volition, and they took the puppet’s hands and put it on Virginia’s breast and so Andrew put his on mine.”

It was all done in “a joking manner” and “everybody laughed”, Ms Sjoberg said.

The new documents related to Ms Sjoberg — now a 42-year-old hairdresser living near Palm Beach, Florida — are among hundreds of files from 177 people.

They were part of a 2015 US defamation case by Ms Giuffre against Ghislaine Maxwell.

That case was settled but media sued to have the documents made public.

They have been released on a rolling basis since 2019.

Getty Images – Getty Prince Andrew has denied allegations of sexual misconduct made against him[/caption]

Sjoberg says the group stayed overnight, and alleges that she was groped by the prince.

“I just remember someone suggesting a photo, and they told us to go get on the couch,” she said in court documents.

“And so Andrew and Virginia sat on the couch, and they put the puppet, the puppet on her lap.

“And so then I sat on Andrew’s lap, and I believe on my own volition, and they took the puppet’s hands and put it on Virginia’s breast, and so Andrew put his on mine.”

Prince Andrew denies any wrongdoing and any sexual contact with anyone as alleged.

The evidence in the defamation case was dismissed as irrelevant and none of the claims have ever been tested in a court before a judge.

How has the palace responded?

A statement released by Buckingham Palace after Epstein’s death read: “The Duke of York has been appalled by the recent reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes.

“His Royal Highness deplores the exploitation of any human being and the suggestion he would condone, participate in or encourage any such behaviour is abhorrent.”

The statement was a response to the emergence of video footage reportedly shot in December 2010 showing Epstein leaving his New York mansion and Prince Andrew standing just inside the door.

The film is thought to have been shot the day after the two were photographed walking together in New York’s Central Park.

The prince was forced to stand down as a UK trade envoy after facing a backlash over the image and his continued association with a convicted sex offender.

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