A new libel suit filed in Manhattan federal court Tuesday accuses Alan Dershowitz of making knowingly false and malicious defamatory statements against Virginia Giuffre, one of the women who claims billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein engaged in human trafficking and sexual assault against her when she was a teenager.
Giuffre claims Dershowitz’s public statements claiming her legal pursuits of Epstein were based on fabricated details, along with his flat-out denials that he himself engaged in sexual acts with her when she was underage, amount to “a desperate barrage of false and increasingly defamatory attacks” on her.
Dershowitz, who retired as a Harvard Law School professor in 2013 and has been an attorney in a string of high-profile legal matters, immediately asserted that Giuffre has walked into a legal quagmire that will result in significant repercussions.
“This finally gives me an opportunity, in court, to prove this woman is a perjurer,” Dershowitz told the New York Law Journal. “She has made a terrible mistake, and her lawyers have made a terrible mistake, in filing this, because she will be going to prison.”
The suit is the latest legal clash between Epstein and his allies on one side, and a cadre of women who have come out publicly to accuse him and others around him of sexual assault and human trafficking that went far beyond the single charge of solicitation he pleaded to in 2008.
Giuffre in particular has waged a number of battles, both legal and public, with Epstein, Dershowitz and others over her claims she was one of a number of teenage girls lured into Epstein’s Palm Beach mansion, only to be sexually abused by Epstein and others.
Dershowitz, Giuffre claims, was one of the others. She claims Epstein required her to be “on call,” and that she was regularly “lent out to others for sexual purposes” over the course of two years. According to her complaint, Giuffre engaged in sexual acts with Dershowitz on multiple occasions, including in Epstein’s Manhattan residence on the Upper East Side.
The long-simmering situation surrounding Epstein came to a head last year when the Miami Herald published a series detailing allegations about Epstein that included dozens of women and also included the specific allegations leveled against Dershowitz by Giuffre.
Giuffre in the complaint said a 2014 suit filed on her behalf against Dershowitz is the source of the former Harvard Law professor’s assertions that she committed perjury.
According to Giuffre’s complaint, Dershowitz asserted that her own lawyers didn’t believe her claims against him and that she intentionally committed perjury as part of an extortion scheme, which ended in an undisclosed settlement.
Since then, Giuffre said, Dershowitz has remained on the attack, making public statements questioning her veracity and claims that are not backed up by testimony and evidence she plans on presenting at trial.
“Dershowitz has repeatedly, publicly claimed that he wanted to have a trial that would determine the facts concerning his conduct,” the complaint states. “Mr. Dershowitz now has what he claims to have been looking for.”
In a statement, Boies Schiller Flexner partner Josh Schiller said that Dershowitz needed to address the detailed factual allegations against him “with something more than emotional conclusory denials and ad hominem attacks.”
“Mr. Dershowitz continues his unfortunate pattern of trying to avoid dealing with his own conduct by attacking victims and their lawyers,” Schiller said. “Whether or not that works with the media (I personally don’t think it does), that doesn’t work in court.”
For his part, Dershowitz reiterated his claim that he has never met Giuffre, and that it will be he who provides documentary evidence in court that will show she is the one being dishonest. He claimed his filings would, in fact, provide a counterpoint to each allegation made against him by Giuffre.
Dershowitz said he was still putting together his legal team in the matter.