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BBC will look into Alan Dershowitz appearance on Maxwell segment

What they were not apprised of was that
Dershowitz had helped defend Epstein and has himself been accused of abuse by
one of Epstein’s accusers — an accusation he denies.

The British broadcaster, which introduced
Dershowitz as a “constitutional lawyer,” said later in a statement released on
Twitter that the interview did not meet its editorial standards: “Mr Dershowitz
was not a suitable person to interview as an impartial analyst, and we did not
make the relevant background clear to our audience,” the statement said. “We
will look into how this happened.”

Dershowitz is a longtime criminal defense
lawyer known for representing high-profile clients including former President
Donald Trump and O.J. Simpson. His connection to Epstein became mired with
personal accusations when, in 2014, Virginia Giuffre, who is among Epstein’s most
prominent accusers, said in a court filing that Dershowitz was one of the
Epstein friends to whom she was offered for sex.

In the BBC interview, Dershowitz said that
Maxwell’s trial undermined the credibility of Giuffre and her case against
Prince Andrew, whom she has also accused of sexually abusing her when she was
still a minor and he was a guest of Epstein. Prince Andrew, the second son of
Queen Elizabeth II, denies that claim.

Giuffre did not testify at Maxwell’s trial.
And Dershowitz speculated that the prosecutors had concerns about Giuffre’s
credibility.

The trial of Maxwell, the former companion to
the disgraced financier Epstein and the daughter of a British media mogul, was
widely seen as the courtroom reckoning that Epstein never had.

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The omission of Dershowitz’s connection to the
case ignited criticism online over conflict of interest. Sarah Churchwell, an
American professor at the University of London, was among those weighing in.

The BBC never explained his connection to the
case, Churchwell wrote in an email.

“At no point did the BBC journalist challenge
Dershowitz or even mention his conflicts of interest although he himself had
just raised them, more than once,” she wrote.

In a Substack newsletter published Thursday,
Dershowitz defended his appearance on the news channel. “The media has
repeatedly interviewed victims of Epstein’s abuse,” he wrote. “It is entirely
appropriate for the media to interview victims of Giuffre’s false accusations
as long as there is full disclosure and no one is misled.”

© 2022 The New York Times Company

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