A woman who claims to be a victim of multimillionaire alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein has filed a defamation lawsuit against high-profile attorney Alan Dershowitz, claiming that he made “false and malicious” statements about her.
According to the lawsuit, which was filed in April in the Southern District of New York, Dershowitz – who used to represent Epstein – knowingly made “false and malicious defamatory statements” against Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, who claims to have been a victim of sex trafficking and abuse by Epstein when she was underage.
Giuffre alleges in her suit that Dershowitz, 80, was a participant in Epstein’s sex trafficking operation, and that she had sex with Dershowitz as part of that operation. Giuffre has made similar allegations against Dershowitz in court filings in the past.
“Defendant Dershowitz was Epstein’s attorney, close friend, and co-conspirator. Dershowitz was also a participant in sex trafficking, including as one of the men to whom Epstein lent out Plaintiff for sex,” the lawsuit alleges.
Dershowitz has repeatedly denied the accusations.
Giuffre alleges that Dershowitz knowingly made false assertions that she committed perjury by accusing him. As part of her suit, Giuffre is asking for punitive damages, the amount of which would be determined at trial.
Dershowitz told CNN on Tuesday he will welcome the accusations in court.
“I will prove without any doubt that she is lying about me,” Dershowitz said in response to the suit. “She is going to end up in prison.”
The bigger picture
Allegations that he sexually abused underage girls and trafficked them to well-known friends have dogged Epstein for years. In December, he settled a lawsuit, dodging the threat that several of his accusers would tell their stories in open court.
The case, which had been unfolding in Palm Beach County, Florida, Circuit Court for almost six years, ends a malicious prosecution counterclaim filed by attorney Bradley Edwards, who represented some of Epstein’s accusers. Edwards filed the counterclaim after Epstein accused him and a now-disbarred attorney of wrongdoing in a civil lawsuit.
The Miami Herald published a report November 28 saying that, when he was a US attorney, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta gave Epstein the “deal of a lifetime” despite a federal investigation identifying 36 underage victims of the hedge fund manager. The Herald said it found about 80 women Epstein allegedly molested or sexually abused over a five-year period.
The report said Acosta forged a deal with one of Epstein’s attorneys in which the multimillionaire pleaded guilty to two state prostitution charges, ultimately serving only 13 months and avoiding a federal trial. The agreement, the Herald said, “essentially shut down an ongoing FBI probe” and further granted immunity to “any potential co-conspirators” in the case.
As part of the plea, Epstein registered as a sex offender and paid restitution to the victims identified by the FBI.
CNN’s Rosa Flores and Eliott C. McLaughlin contributed to this report