THE woman who claims she was forced to have sex with Prince Andrew while still a minor has hit out at attacks made on her credibility.

Her comments follow statements made by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz - who is named in American court documents with Prince Andrew - urging him to fight back with "every ounce of energy" against the allegations.

Dershowitz said the claims against him were part of a pattern of "made-up stories" by the woman and her lawyers against prominent people.

Buckingham Palace also took the unusual step of releasing a strongly-worded statement ­categorically denying any impropriety by the prince with minors.

In a statement released through her lawyers, the woman hit back, saying: "These types of aggressive attacks on me are exactly the reason why sexual abuse victims typically remain silent and the reason why I did for a long time. That trend should change. I'm not going to be bullied back into silence."

Dershowitz, who also worked on OJ Simpson's defence team, said that he would not rest until he had shown that the claims regarding his conduct were false and he advised the Duke of York to do everything in his power to clear his name.

He said: "My only feeling is, if she's lied about me, which I know to an absolute certainty she has, she should not be believed about anyone else.

"We know she's lied about other public figures, including a former prime minister and others who she claims to have participated in sexual activities with, so I think it must be presumed all her ­allegations against Prince Andrew were false as well.

"You cannot allow these allegations to hang above you. The first question you have to ask yourself when you are charged with a crime like this is, 'Is there any conceivable possibility you did it?' and if the answer to that is 'No', you have to fight back with every resource and ounce of energy available to you."

The claim by the woman is part of a lawsuit in connection with American billionaire and convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein, a former friend of the Duke of York.

Prince Andrew was photographed with Epstein in New York two years after the American's release from prison in 2009, and their friendship was a source of controversy.

The woman claims that between 1999 and 2002 she "was forced to have sexual relations with this prince when she was a minor" in London, New York and on a private Caribbean island owned by Epstein.

The accusation is reportedly contained in a motion filed in a ­Florida court this week which is part of a lawsuit over how federal prosecutors handled the case of Epstein, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2008 for ­soliciting a minor for prostitution.

Dershowitz, who represented Epstein in the 2008 case, accused the woman's lawyers of conniving with her to make up the ­allegations against him and said that he would now be seeking to have them disbarred.

"The story is totally made up. I don't know this woman, it is part of a pattern of made-up stories against prominent people and world ­leaders," he said.

"I want to see this played out not only in the court of public opinion but in the court of law. I will prove beyond any doubt not only that the story is totally false but it was knowingly false, that the lawyers and the client conspired together to create a false story. That is why I am moving for their disbarment.

"I will swear under oath - and I challenge them to swear under oath - that it did not happen.

"I will not rest or stop until the world understands not only that I had nothing to do with any of this but that she deliberately, with the connivance of her lawyers, made up this story wilfully and knowingly."

Dershowitz acknowledged that he had met Andrew on a number of occasions - including at a birthday party for Lord Evelyn Rothschild, which was also attended by Epstein - but said: "I have never been alone with Prince Andrew, I have never been at a party with any women with Prince Andrew and I am certainly not a witness or participant in any sexual activities whatsoever."

After details of the court papers appeared on an American news website, a Buckingham Palace spokeswoman said in a statement: "This relates to longstanding and ongoing civil proceedings in the United States, to which the Duke of York is not a party.

"As such we would not comment on the detail. However, for the avoidance of doubt, any ­suggestion of impropriety with under-age minors is categorically untrue."

Epstein is accused in the court papers of repeatedly abusing the woman - now said to be in her 30s - on his private jet and luxury homes in New York, New Mexico, Florida and the US Virgin Islands.

The court document alleges: "Epstein also sexually trafficked the then-minor Jane Doe [a name used in US legal proceedings to give people anonymity], making her available for sex to politically connected and financially powerful people.

"Epstein's purposes in 'lending' Jane Doe (along with other young girls) to such powerful people were to ingratiate himself with them for business, personal, political, and financial gain, as well as to obtain potential blackmail information."

It goes on: "For instance, one such powerful individual Epstein forced Jane Doe to have sexual relations with was a member of the British royal family, Prince Andrew (aka Duke of York)."

The Duke of York has been dogged by accusations of a lack of judgment about his links with Epstein since 2011.

In June 2011, it was announced that he was stepping down from his role as the UK's roving business ambassador.

He gave up the post following the intense scrutiny he faced over his relationships with Epstein and other controversial figures.