Mr Dershowitz has been accused of sexual crimes by Virginia Giuffre (Photo: Getty Images)
The BBC has said its interview with Alan Dershowtiz, former lawyer of Jeffrey Epstein, was “not suitable” following the conviction of British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell.
The national broadcaster said it was investigating after an interview with the high-profile US lawyer was aired on Wednesday (29 December).
Mr Dershowitz, 83, is one of the best-known criminal defence lawyers in the United States and represented paedophile Epstein. He has also worked with former president Donald Trump and the former film producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein.
The 83-year-old has been accused of sexual crimes by Virginia Giuffre, who also claims to have been abused by Epstein, Maxwell and the Duke of York.
Both Mr Dershowitz and the Duke have vehemently denied any wrongdoing and have not been charged with any crime.
What happened during the interview?
The interview with Mr Dershowitz aird on the BBC News Channel as the news of Ms Maxwell’s conviction for trafficking teenagers broke on Wednesday.
He was introduced as “constitutional lawyer”, but no reference was made to his connections with those involved in the case.
Mr Dershowitz used his time on air to disparage the claims made against himself and the Duke by Ms Giuffe.
He said on the BBC: “The most important thing, particularly for British viewers, is that the government was very careful who it used as witnesses.
“It did not use as a witness the woman who accused Prince Andrew, who accused me, who accused many other people, because the government didn’t believe she was telling the truth.
“In fact she, Virginia Giuffre, was mentioned in the trial as somebody who brought young people to Epstein for him to abuse, so this case does nothing to strengthen the case against Prince Andrew, indeed it weakens the case against Prince Andrew considerably because the government was very selective in who it used.
“It used only witnesses who they believed were credible and it deliberately didn’t use the main witness, the woman who started the whole investigation — Virginia Giuffre — because, ultimately, they 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, so it was very smart on the part of the government.”
What has the BBC said?
In response to the interview, the BBC said in a statement: “Last night’s 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.
“We will look into how this happened.”
What happened at the Maxwell trial?
Ms Maxwell, 60, the former girlfriend of convicted paedophile Epstein, was found guilty of sex trafficiking and abuse in court on Wednesday (29 December).
The daughter of late media mogul Robert Maxwell was convicted on five out of six charges, which included luring young girls to massage rooms for the disgraced financier Epstein to molest.
She is set to be sentenced for up to 65 years for her crimes.
The 60-year-old has been on trial since late November, over a year after she was found hiding from authorities in a $1m (£800,000) four-bedroom rural mansion in Bradford, New Hampshire.
Ms Giuffre’s claims against Ms Maxwell did not form part of the prosecution’s case but were raised during the trial.
Epstein, 66, was found dead in his cell at a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019 while he awaited trial on sex-trafficking charges. The death was ruled to be a suicide.
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