MANHATTAN (CN) — One of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein’s accusers filed a defamation lawsuit on Tuesday claiming prominent attorney Alan Dershowitz lied by vehemently insisting she was never forced to have sex with him.
The claims mark a sharp escalation of a legal battle brewing between Dershowitz and Epstein alleged victim Virginia Giuffre, whose accusations against the Harvard professor and attorney first became public in 2014.
“I welcome this lawsuit,” Dershowitz said in a phone interview, claiming that its revelations will vindicate him from old accusations.
Introducing a new Epstein accuser for the first time, Giuffre said that testimony by Epstein’s former employee Maria Farmer backs up her story.
“Alan Dershowitz was an individual who came to visit Epstein at his New York mansion a number of times when I was working for Epstein,” Farmer wrote in a two-page affidavit accompanying the complaint. “Dershowitz was very comfortable at the home and would come in and walk upstairs. On a number of occasions, I witnessed Dershowitz at the NY mansion going upstairs at the same time there were young girls under the age of 18 who were present upstairs in the house.”
Farmer does not claim to have witnessed Dershowitz sexually abusing underage girls, but she does allege Epstein and his then-assistant Ghislaine Maxwell sexually abused her younger sister. Epstein is believed to have sexually abused more than 30 underage girls.
“During the summer of 1996, Epstein and Maxwell flew my younger sister to their ranch in New Mexico,” Farmer’s affidavit states. “She was only 15 at the time and they directed her take off all of her clothes and get on a massage table. Maxwell and Epstein then touched her inappropriately on the massage table. It was not until later in the summer when I called my sister in Thailand where she was studying that I learned what had happened to her at Epstein’s New Mexico ranch.”
The Miami Herald brought the long-dormant Epstein case back to the national forefront late last year with its three-part investigative series “Perversion of Justice,” which featured an interview with Giuffre and other accusers about the impunity surrounding the politically connected sex offender.
President Donald Trump’s Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta had been the U.S. attorney who engineered the extraordinarily lenient non-prosecution agreement against Epstein that granted immunity to his co-conspirators. The plea deal protected Epstein’s co-conspirators, kept him out of federal prison, and hid the details of the agreement from dozens of alleged victims.
In February, a federal judge in Florida slapped Acosta for violating federal law for failing to notify Epstein’s victims.
Giuffre’s lawsuit in Manhattan federal court reprises much of the history of the case and its aftermath in turning to allegations against Dershowitz, who brokered Epstein’s sweetheart plea deal.
“Defendant Dershowitz was Epstein’s attorney, close friend, and co-conspirator,” the new lawsuit states. “Dershowitz was also a participant in sex trafficking, including as one of the men to whom Epstein lent out plaintiff for sex.”
In March, the Second Circuit seemed primed to unseal an enormous tranche of documents from a related civil lawsuit against Epstein that could shed light on the allegation. It still has not ruled on that matter.
Both Giuffre and Dershowitz say that they would welcome transparency. Giuffre’s attorney Paul Cassell, a law professor and former federal judge, told the court back then that the files would show his client was “trafficked” to Dershowitz, who was equally adamant that the full record would vindicate him.
Doubling down on that position, Dershowitz told Courthouse News: “I’m repeating the defamation.”
“I’m accusing her of perjury,” he said. “I’m inviting the FBI to come to the trial.”
At such a trial, Dershowitz said he would use Giuffre’s own messages against her.
“I have the emails that prove it—her own words, that she never had sex with me,” he said.
Guiffre’s attorney Sigrid McCawley, a partner at Boies, Schiller & Flexner, said in a statement that her client’s complaint is “supported by detailed factual allegations, contemporaneous documents, and sworn affidavits.”
“Mr. Dershowitz’s response in court will have to be more than than the conclusory denials and ad hominem attacks on victims and their lawyers that continue to be the core of his desperate media strategy,” McCawley added.