BBC Says Interview With Epstein’s Lawyer Accused of Sexual Abuse Did Not 'Meet Editorial Standards'

© AP Photo / Frank Franklin IIAttorney Alan Dershowitz leaves Manhattan Federal Court in New York
Attorney Alan Dershowitz leaves Manhattan Federal Court in New York - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.12.2021
Jeffrey Epstein was arrested in July 2019 on charges of running a sex trafficking network of minors. Dozens of women have accused him of raping and sexually assaulting them, including when they were underage. The financier, who was reportedly worth millions of dollars, was found hanged in prison while awaiting trial.
The British Broadcasting Corporation has said its interview with Jeffrey Epstein’s lawyer Alan Dershowitz "did not meet" its "editorial standards".
The outlet came under harsh criticism after it decided to speak with Dershowitz about the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell, a British socialite and accomplice of Epstein who groomed girls and women for the financier. Maxwell has been found guilty on five out of six counts, including the most serious charge – sex trafficking of a minor.
At issue here is that Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor, has himself been accused of sexual assault by one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre. She claimed Epstein and Maxwell trafficked her to the lawyer and was forced to sleep with him six times, a claim he has vehemently denied. The two went on to sue each other.

During the interview, Dershowitz was presented as a "constitutional lawyer" and was able to attack Virginia Giuffre. He commended the court for not calling her as a witness during Maxwell’s trial "because they ultimately didn’t believe she was telling the truth and they didn’t believe a jury would believe her and they were right in doing so".

The BBC did not mention that the lawyer was accused by Virginia Giuffre of sexual assault or the fact that the two had sued each other.

The outlet’s interview prompted intense criticism from the public.

"Alan Dershowitz, who was accused of the same crimes as Prince Andrew, is on the BBC trying to silence victims following Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction. I can’t believe this needs to be said but the BBC should not give a platform to people accused of child sexual abuse", Labour MP Nadia Whittome tweeted.

Human rights lawyer Caoilfhionn Gallagher said she was "shocked" by the BBC’s decision to speak to the lawyer.

The BBC’s spokesperson said that the outlet will look into how the interview was arranged.

"The interview with Alan Dershowitz after the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict did not meet the BBC’s editorial standards, as 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 spokesperson said.

Dershowitz, who represented former US President Donald Trump during his first impeachment trial, is not the only high-profile figure who has been accused by Epstein’s victims. Virginia Giuffre has claimed that Queen Elizabeth’s second son Prince Andrew also slept with her on at least three separate occasions, including when she was a minor.

The royal has categorically denied the accusations, saying he has an alibi and that he has never met the woman. However, several people have said they reportedly saw him with the girl at a nightclub and on Jeffrey Epstein's private Island.

Epstein himself was found hanged in his prison cell on 10 August 2019, a month after he was arrested. The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that his death was a suicide. However, a forensic pathologist hired by his family suggested that evidence pointed to the financier potentially having been strangled.
The claim led to speculation that Epstein was killed by his powerful friends, who supposedly feared they may be implicated in his crimes. Among his acquaintances were former US Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton (both reportedly travelled on Epstein’s private jet where sexual abuse took place), former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates, and actors Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker.
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