On Thursday a court in New York City unsealed hundreds of pages of court documents from Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s 2015 defamation suit against Ghislaine Maxwell. Social media instantly erupted with denunciations of Alan Dershowitz, who was accused in Giuffre’s deposition of multiple sexual assaults. But Dershowitz was prominent among those pushing for the court papers’ release.
I cross-examine Jeffrey Epstein’s erstwhile defense lawyer on the court papers, what he’d tell Ghislaine Maxwell if he was her lawyer, and whether he’s already been convicted in the court of public opinion.
What are your feelings on the release of these court papers?
I’m thrilled that they were released. I was the one who asked for them. They contain no new accusations against me. But what they do have are Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s emails and book manuscript that prove in her own words that she never met me. And those are the smoking guns: clear evidence that she never met me, in her own words.
Any new accusations against you?
No new accusations. Because there can’t be — because there’s no truth to them.
You never met Virginia Roberts Giuffre?
I never met her. I never saw her. I never had sex with anybody other than my wife during the relevant time period. And I want everything to come out.
Including the videotapes?
I’m also hoping there are videotapes of all the sexual encounters that took place because they would prove conclusively that I did not participate in them. So the more evidence comes out, the happier I am.
It’s taken more than a decade for these court papers to be unsealed. As the scandals around Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell have grown, people have been free to concoct all kinds of speculation about Virginia Roberts Giuffre and you.
Why doesn’t the media start focusing on her? You have a woman who has roiled three continents. She affected the election in Israel because she accused Ehud Barak. She affected the royal family in Great Britain. She has had an impact on American elections with Trump and with Clinton and George Mitchell. And yet nobody is investigating her and her long history of lying about prominent people.
Why is that?
The media is terrified about challenging women who accuse. They just won’t do it. Here you have a woman who accused Al Gore and Tipper Gore of being on Jeffrey’s quote ‘Pedophile Island’. Al Gore and Tipper Gore never heard of Jeffrey, actually, and they didn’t know him. She’s just made up story after story.
I wonder if much of the media don’t want to go into a story with links to the Clinton-era Democratic party and its supporters, even though the story is now over 20 years old?
No, I don’t think so. I don’t believe that. I think there are there are media that would love to do that. Fox would love to do that, obviously. But they’re not doing it.
I think it’s much more to do with the #MeToo movement. Nobody wants to be accused of victim shaming. The question is, who’s the victim? I’m the victim here. I’m the victim of a false accusation by a predatory female.
Your difficulty isn’t factual, though: it’s how you’re perceived. Thousands of people were convicting you on Twitter last night alone. None of them seem to know that you had actually been the one who wanted the papers to be released.
All they want to do is pile on. So I’m going to continue to fight that.
The public also doesn’t seem to have registered the fact that Virginia Roberts Giuffre and her lawyer David Boies have already withdrawn her claims against you.
Eventually I will get her under oath. She’s making every excuse to avoid being deposed. But we will get her. We will depose her and she will end up in prison for perjury.
The court of public opinion is convicting you regardless of the truth. Are you being convicted by association with Jeffrey Epstein, in particular for representing him in the Florida case in 2007-08?
Well, that’s just old-fashioned McCarthyism, blaming the lawyer for his client. I did my job as a lawyer along with five or six other lawyers. And yet I’m being blamed for doing my job and getting him a deal that any lawyer would have tried to get. That’s what lawyers do, to try to make the best possible outcome for our clients. It’s up to the judge and the prosecutor to see that justice is done. It’s up to the defense attorney to get the best possible deal for his client.
The last time we spoke about Epstein, you said you now regret your social association with him.
I wish I had never met him. Of course I wish I had never met him. Just look what he’s done to my life. Nonetheless, I’m going to keep fighting back. Lawyers shouldn’t be held responsible for the sins of their clients.
Do you think this trial by Twitter, and the simple falsity of what people have been saying recently about you, represent a danger to a democratic, law-abiding system?
I think it’s very dangerous to due process, to the presumption of innocence and to the rule of law. It’s mob rule.
Do you think it’s possible that you will be asked to speak in the case of Ghislaine Maxwell?
I hope so. I have offered to. I hope so. I offered to testify when she was first being sued. I’m available to testify to tell the truth to anybody. I’m not hiding. I never refuse to answer questions from the media.
You mean you offered to testify for Maxwell when Virginia Roberts Giuffre first accused her?
If you testified, would you be able to provide contextual information regarding the nature of Ghislaine Maxwell’s relationship with Epstein and so on? I imagine she’ll claim some kind of diminished responsibility?
I don’t know. All I can testify to is what I saw with my own eyes.
If you were Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyer, what defense strategy would you advise?
I would go to trial. I think she made a mistake by settling the first case, the one brought by Sarah Ransome in 2017. She has to go to trial and disprove the allegations.
The prosecution’s case isn’t that strong, is it?
They have to go back 25 years.
If Virginia Roberts Giuffre is making frivolous claims, does that damage cases brought by genuine victims?
I think that she and her lawyers have hurt the #MeToo movement terribly, because in the end it’ll be proved that she made up the whole story for money. She just went through she went through Epstein’s Rolodex and just named names. You know, she claims she had sex with George Mitchell, Bill Richardson, Leslie Wexner, Marvin Minsky and Tom Pritzker, the cousin of the governor of Illinois. You name it, anybody famous.
Giuffre said she saw Al Gore and Tipper Gore on the island. Al Gore and Tipper Gore never met Jeffrey Epstein, didn’t even know who he was. She said she saw President Clinton on the island. Secret Service records prove that couldn’t have been the case. She just through the Rolodex and has made up stories and nobody has been checking into them.