Alan Dershowitz has filed a federal defamation claim against Virginia Giuffre, attacking as maliciously false her assertion that she was sexually trafficked to the famed Harvard professor by Jeffrey Epstein when she was a minor.
Dershowitz says he had never even met Giuffre, much less had sex with her.
It is a counterclaim to Giuffre’s own defamation lawsuit against him, which says Dershowitz has repeatedly and falsely branded her a liar for accusing him of using her for sex.
Giuffre is one of the more prominent victims of Jeffrey Epstein, who died in August in a New York City prison cell while awaiting trial on charges of sexually trafficking minor girls. The death at age 66 was labeled a suicide. A former runaway who was sexually abused as a child, Giuffre was recruited by Epstein’s partner, Ghislaine Maxwell, from Mar-a-Lago, where she worked as an attendant. Giuffre said she effectively became their sexual plaything, engaging in sex acts with them and whomever they designated.
Among the Epstein friends she says she was instructed to have sex with were Dershowitz and Prince Andrew, both of whom vehemently deny it.
In his counterclaim to her defamation suit, Dershowitz said Giuffre never named him as one of the men to whom she was trafficked until her lawyers, notably the equally famous David Boies, suggested that Dershowitz be added to the list.
“She spoke to the FBI, gave them a list of names of people she had sex with. I was never on it,” Dershowitz, 81, said.
“I did not in any way have sex with her. We are going to prove she suddenly ‘remembered’ she had sex with me after talking with her lawyers. And that she made up her whole story.”
Boies’ law firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, represented Giuffre, now 36, in her defamation lawsuit until recently, when Dershowitz persuaded a judge to disqualify Boies from the case. Dershowitz said he planned to call Boies as a witness, and Boies couldn’t be both witness and advocate in the same lawsuit.
Dershowitz claims Boies admitted to him in a phone conversation that his client must have been mistaken when she claimed Dershowitz had sex with her.
Boies, celebrated for his role in the landmark Bush v. Gore case and for successfully fighting to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriage, has sued to have the disqualification overturned.
Bioes and Dershowitz, whose most notable cases involve the defense of O.J. Simpson and that of socialite Claus Von Bulow, have become fierce antagonists.
Chuck Cooper, a prominent litigator in his own right who has replaced the Boies firm for now, accused Dershowitz through a spokeswoman of “recycling the same false claims from his increasingly stale playbook.”
“Alan Dershowitz has once again launched an attack on Virginia Giuffre and her lawyers,” he said. “Let’s call his counterclaim what it is: a failed attempt to make something old and tired look new. “
Dershowitz was a friend and sometimes house guest of Epstein, who maintained a waterfront estate in Palm Beach and a private island in the Caribbean, along with homes in Paris, New Mexico and New York. More than 10 years ago, Palm Beach police learned that Epstein was running what amounted to a sexual pyramid scheme at his home, luring underage girls to his bedroom under the pretext of giving him a massage. The massage sessions often turned into sexual abuse of the girls. They would be paid $200 to $300. He would then pay some of girls a similar amount to recruit other girls.
Facing a 53-page federal sex trafficking indictment, Epstein assembled a powerhouse legal team, including Dershowitz. The lawyers negotiated a deal, executed in 2008, that resulted in the U.S. attorney shelving the indictment, despite the government having nearly three dozen underage accusers. In exchange, Epstein pleaded guilty in state court to minor prostitution charges, served a short jail stint and registered as a sex offender.
Last November, the Miami Herald published a series of articles on the case, Perversion of Justice. Victims were interviewed and described their anguish over the way they were treated by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of Florida, including U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta, later President Donald Trump’s secretary of labor. The articles documented the extraordinary efforts prosecutors made to keep victims out of the loop as the non-prosecution agreement was negotiated.
After the series was published, Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney in New York City, where Epstein was also suspected of sexually abusing girls, revived the case. Agents arrested Epstein at New Jersey’s Teterboro airport on July 6 as he arrived on his private jet from Paris.
BEHIND OUR REPORTING
Local Reporting Makes a Difference
In her year-long investigation of Palm Beach multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein, Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown tracked down more than 60 women who said they were victims of abuse and revealed the full story behind the sweetheart deal cut by Epstein’s powerhouse legal team.
Since the Herald published ‘Perversion of Justice’ in November 2018, a federal judge ruled the non-prosecution agreement brokered by then South Florida U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta was illegal, Epstein was arrested on sex trafficking charges in New York state, Acosta resigned as U.S. Secretary of Labor, and Epstein killed himself in his Manhattan jail cell.
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