Dershowitz Duels on Defamation With Lawyer for Epstein Accusers

Alan Dershowitz speaks to reporters, flanked by attorneys Howard Cooper (left) and Arthur Aidala (right) outside Manhattan Federal Court on Sept. 24, 2019. A retired Harvard Law professor, Dershowitz is fighting to nix a defamation lawsuit brought by Virginia Guiffre, who has said she was underage when Jeffrey Epstein trafficked her to have sex with Dershowitz. (Photo by JOSH RUSSELL/Courthouse News Service)

MANHATTAN (CN) – Alan Dershowitz brought counterclaims Thursday against the prominent lawyer for two of Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers before the ink on the lawyer’s defamation suit was even dry.

David Boies, the 78-year old founding partner and chairman of Boies Schiller Flexner, fired the first shot in Manhattan Supreme Court, blasting Dershowitz’s repeated public allegations that Boies induced his clients, Virginia Giuffre and Sarah Ransome, to lie about having been sexual abused by the Harvard professor.

As Boies tells it, the 81-year old embattled former lawyer to Epstein is trying “to distract attention from his own misconduct.” Dershowitz on the other hand has painted the allegations as part of an elaborate plot to extort money from billionaire Lex Wexner, the Victoria’s Secret retail tycoon whose fortune Epstein managed.

“Defendant makes those assertions without any basis whatsoever, with total disregard for whether they are true or false, and in the face of facts demonstrating that they are in fact false,” the Thursday complaint from Boies states.

Boies also says Dershowitz “essentially challenged [him] to sue him for defamation.”

Wexner, the founder and chief executive officer of Ohio-based fashion retailer L Brands, hired Epstein to manage his funds beginning in the late 1980s. It was through Wexner that Epstein acquired the seven-story Upper East Side mansion where countless women say they were sexually abused. 

Boies’ complaint quotes how Dershowitz responded in a Nov, 28, 2018, article of the Miami Herald article when asked about Giuffre’s claims that he’d sexually assaulted her.

“‘The story was 100 percent flatly categorically made-up,’ he said, adding that Roberts and her attorneys fabricated the assertion in order to get revenge against me,” according to the complaint.

The complaint also quotes Dershowitz from a New York Daily News article the following month as saying: “The villain here is David Boies, who is exploiting a crazy woman in order to get revenge against me.”

Boies highlights as well a July 2018 Newsmax article where Dershowitz is quoted as saying that that Giuffre was pressured “by her lawyers to falsely accuse me of having underage sex with her. They expected a big payday.”

Dershowitz continued that “sometimes smoke does not mean fire; it means arson.”

In a statement Friday, Dershowitz said Boies has put his entire legal career on trial suing, opening the opportunity for discovery into Boies’ actions pertaining to Giuffre and others.

“Thankfully, truth is a defense against defamation, and we will prove that everything I said about him is true, and what he has said about me is false,” Dershowitz said. “He has opened up a Pandora’s box that endangers him and his law firm. I welcome the opportunity for the public to finally learn the sad truth about Boies and his firm.”

Boies filed his defamation suit in Manhattan Supreme Court the same day that Dershowitz leveled defamation claims against him and his clients in the case brought against him by Giuffre in New York federal court.

Dershowitz is represented by Howard Cooper, of Todd & Weld, and Imran Ansari, from Aidala, Bertuna & Kamins PC.

Boies Schiller Flexner had represented Giuffre in an April lawsuit that says Dershowitz lied by vehemently insisting she was never forced to have sex with him. 

Last month, Dershowitz’s attorneys prevailed in their motion to have Boies disqualified from representing Giuffre in the case based on Dershowitz’s plans to call Boies and his firm’s partner Sigrid McCawley to testify at trial.

Dershowitz, who denies any sexual conduct with Giuffre, alleges in his countersuit that she “has falsely and with a knowing and reckless disregard of falsity and acting out of ill-will and spite publicly labelled Dershowitz as a child rapist and molester.”

Dershowitz reiterates in his countersuit his claim that Boies privately made an accusation against Leslie Wexner and personally met with Wexner’s lawyer in what Wexner’s lawyer and wife both described as a “shakedown”.

Since no accusations against Wexner were made public, Dershowitz concludes that “this means that Wexner either submitted to Giuffre and her lawyers’ extortion conspiracy and paid the demanded hush money, or that David Boies came to disbelieve Giuffre’s claims regarding Wexner.”

“If the latter, the Boies firm suborned perjury when Giuffre later testified under oath in a sealed deposition that she was sexually trafficked to Wexner,” the complaint states.

Dershowitz further asserts in his countersuit his belief that Giuffre’s lawyers also approached other wealthy individuals whose alleged misconduct is beyond the statute of limitations as part of an alleged extortion and shake down conspiracy.

Representatives for Boies Schiller did not immediately respond to request for comment on the countersuit Friday afternoon.

Chuck Cooper, of Washington-based Cooper & Kirk, who now represents Giuffre in the case, called Dershowitz’s countersuit “a failed attempt to make something old and tired look new. “

“Recycling the same false claims from his increasingly stale playbook, Alan Derschowitz has once again launched an attack on Virginia Guiffre and her lawyers,” Cooper said in a statement.

Dershowitz’s attorney Aidala meanwhile called the Boies suit “a petty move reeking of personal animus.”

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