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Just as famed legal expert Alan Dershowitz was preparing to file disciplinary complaints against two attorneys who represent a woman who claims that he had sex with her when she was underage, the alleged victim’s lawyers beat him to the punch by suing Dershowitz for defamation. The 76-year-old former professor at Harvard Law School did file a sworn affidavit in a Miami federal court saying that he did so “to protect his reputation” in the face of sexual assault allegations he describes as “contemptible” and “outrageously false.”
In his motion, Dershowitz asks the judge to erase the allegation against him, even though he was not sued or personally charged. The professor also asked the court to force the lawyers for his accuser to show what evidence they have to support their allegation.
Several women, including Virginia Roberts, 30, whose lawyers, Bradley Edwards and former federal judge and University of Utah law professor Paul Cassell, filed the suit against Dershowitz, allege to have been forced into becoming sex slaves by New York billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, a convicted sex offender with worldwide contacts and influence. Roberts has also sworn in court papers to have been forced by Epstein to engage in sexual intercourse with Prince Andrew when she was 17. Buckingham Palace has strongly denied her allegation.
Cassell and his co-counsel, Florida attorney Brad Edwards, allege that Dershowitz has been involved in “character assassination” against both lawyers while being interviewed on national media outlets such as CNN and the Today show. They claim that he has also engaged in “willful, wanton, reckless, and intentional disregard” of both, to the point of calling them “unethical.”
Roberts is listed in court documents as Jane Doe #3. She alleges that Epstein forced her to act as a prostitute for well-known politicians, presidents of foreign nations, highly-ranked business leaders, “a well-known prime minister, and other world leaders.” Despite this allegation, she named only Dershowitz and Prince Andrew in a request she made for inclusion into a lawsuit filed six years ago by two women who allege that Epstein forced them into sex slavery as well.
The allegations against Dershowitz include Roberts’ claim that she was forced to have sex with the law professor many times when she was underage in locations ranging from New York to the U.S. Virgin Islands to on board private planes. Roberts also alleges that Dershowitz witnessed “many other minors” being sexually abused by Epstein and his friends.
Dershowitz denies the allegations and insists that both his wife and his daughter can speak on his behalf. He maintains that he never so much as brushed against Roberts and that he was only on Epstein’s private island, located in the Virgin Islands, for “one day.” He insists that he spent the whole day with his daughter and his wife and that they all slept in the same bedroom that night. In response to Robert’s accusation that she was forced into sex with Dershowitz at Epstein’s New Mexico home, the former professor said that not only was he accompanied by his wife and daughter when he visited the home, but it was in the middle of construction. He says that Epstein was not present during the visit and that he saw no underage girls while there.
Dershowitz also denies having had sex with Roberts on Epstein’s pilot plane, saying that his family and other attorneys employed by the Wall Street investor had been present on those trips. He also rejects any notion that he had intimate relations with Roberts at any other home owned by Epstein.
In the midst of the claims, The Daily Mail reported on Tuesday that Epstein maintained a record of phone numbers for powerful politicians, including former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Michael Bloomberg and Ehud Olmert, the Israeli leader currently in jail. In addition to politicians, Epstein’s book is said to have contained contact information for celebrities such as Elizabeth Hurley, Ivana Trump, Mick Jagger and Angie Everhart. Although none of those whose names appear in Epstein’s book are charged with any illegal actions, the paper makes note that 16 telephone number entries were made for Prince Andrew and 18 were listed for his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson.
Epstein served a 13-month prison sentence in 2008 for solicitation of a minor for prostitution in Florida. The lawsuit against him seeks to have his plea deal, which allowed the billionaire to avoid facing federal charges and thus more time in prison, reconsidered. In addition, the suit alleges that both Prince Andrew and Dershowitz pressured federal prosecutors to make a “more favorable plea deal” with Epstein. The Independent reports that Epstein was able to have sealed the court documents in his case which would detail any measures made by Prince Andrew on his behalf.
Epstein has yet to comment regarding the allegations, but according to The Daily Mirror, he may not have to. The paper reported that the financier had hidden cameras installed in the guest bedrooms in many of his homes. If any of the footage recorded contains either Dershowitz or Prince Andrew having sex with the underaged Roberts, their denials will prove in vain.
By Jennifer Pfalz