The United States Law Week

Dershowitz Responds to Defamation Suit With Defamation Claim

Nov. 8, 2019, 5:35 PM

Alan Dershowitz added his own defamation claims to a defamation suit filed against him in the Southern District of New York by a woman who claims she was forced to have sex with the Harvard law professor while she was an underage victim of Jeffrey Epstein.

Virginia Giuffre claims she was forced to have sex with friends and acquaintances of Epstein from 2000 to 2002. Dershowitz denies the allegations and has publicly called Giuffre a liar on multiple occasions, leading her to sue him for defamation.

In his Nov. 6 answer to the lawsuit, Dershowitz denied the assault and defamation claims, and included counterclaims for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“Dershowitz now brings this action for defamation in order to establish the truth—that he never met Giuffre—and to hold Giuffre accountable for her defamatory claims and recover for the serious harm she has caused to his reputation, his business, and his health,” the answer says.

Dershowitz argues he never met or had sex with Giuffre, and that lawyers pressured into falsely accusing him for money.

Dershowitz was part of a team of lawyers that negotiated a 2008 plea deal for Epstein over criminal charges in Florida, which required him to serve just 13 months in a Palm Beach, Fla., jail with daily work release.

Alexander Acosta, the U.S. attorney in Miami at the time, resigned as President Donald Trump’s labor secretary in July amid controversy over the deal. Epstein hanged himself in his jail cell in August while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.

Judge Loretta A. Preska of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York is overseeing the case.

Cooper & Kirk PLLC represents Giuffre. Todd & Weld LLP and Aidala Bertuna & Kamins P.C. represent Dershowitz.

The case is Giuffre v. Dershowitz, S.D.N.Y., No. 19-3377, answer filed 11/7/19.

To contact the reporter on this story: Perry Cooper in Washington at pcooper@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com; Nicholas Datlowe at ndatlowe@bloomberglaw.com

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