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Alan Dershowitz has been busy battling negative publicity related to his connections to Jeffrey Epstein—including allegations by at least two of Epstein’s accusers, who say they were forced into having sex with Dershowitz. (He strongly denies this.)
But a New Yorker profile of the 80-year-old Harvard Law professor highlights more of Dershowitz’s controversial history, one that made some female students uncomfortable in the 1980s and 1990s and apparently included an obsession with discussing rape cases.
As the magazine reported of Dershowitz’s discussions of representing men accused of rape, “Some students thought that he strained logic in order to defend men.”
“In Dershowitz’s view, men who are accused of rape, there has got to be a defense,” one female student from 1991 told the New Yorker. “He had convoluted ways of thinking about how men could misinterpret lack of consent. And it wasn’t relegated to when we were speaking about a rape case. Wherever we were on the syllabus, he would bring it up.”
At one point, according to another female student, “a woman raised her hand and said, essentially, O.K., enough rape examples! There are women in this class who have been raped. Can we move on to something else?”
Dershowitz had also written op-eds arguing against statutory-rape laws, suggesting that 15 was a reasonable age of consent regardless of the age of the partner, and that men shouldn’t face charges for hiring “prostitutes,” but that the sex workers should.
The second female student described Dershowitz this way: “He said, ‘Prostitutes know what they’re doing—they should be prosecuted. But you shouldn’t ruin the john’s life over that.’ If I had raised my hand to challenge that, I would have been singling myself out as—God forbid—a feminist.”
These anecdotes provide a backdrop for Dershowitz’s representation of Epstein, which, according to the New Yorker, is the only case of his career that he regrets. Dershowitz claimed he was misled about the severity of the allegations against the millionaire predator—who now faces sex-trafficking charges in New York.
The magazine’s deeper dive into Dershowitz has some other new revelations about Epstein, too.
Epstein invested Dershowitz’s money into a hedge fund, then pressured the founder to repay Dershowitz for his losses
Dershowitz and Epstein reportedly met in 1996, through Dershowitz’s friend Lady Rothschild. Early on in their relationship, Epstein contacted the founder of the Boston Provident hedge fund, where he’d recently placed $30 million, and said he wanted to invest several hundred thousand dollars from Dershowitz.
But when the fund tanked the following year, Epstein called the founder, Orin Kramer, and demanded, “One of us is going to make Alan whole—and if I have to do it, that is an outcome you will regret.” Kramer agreed to restore Dershowitz’s money if Epstein left the remainder of his investment in the fund.
Ghislaine Maxwell allegedly prowled around Manhattan—including Central Park—looking for fresh new victims for Epstein
Epstein accuser Maria Farmer, who came forward earlier this year, said girls in school uniforms would appear at Epstein’s Manhattan mansion every day. She was told those girls were auditioning for work as Victoria’s Secret models.
Maxwell, the British socialite and accused Epstein madam, would routinely greet Farmer in the morning by stating her mission for the day: “I have to get some girls today for Jeffrey.” Farmer told the New Yorker of Maxwell, “She was literally driving around New York City, or walking in Central Park, looking for young girls to bring back."
Epstein had on-call doctors to examine his young victims for STDs and to provide birth control
For years, Virginia Roberts Giuffre has claimed Epstein kept her as his “sex slave” and coerced her into sex with Dershowitz and other high-powered men. Maxwell, she said, recruited her when she was 16 and working at Mar-a-Lago.
Epstein would fly Giuffre to New York, where his Upper East Side mansion allegedly had a video-recording system. Giuffre was convinced Epstein used the devices to gather information on the men to use later as leverage. “Ghislaine would say, ‘We want you to please these men in whatever way they want, I don’t care how gross or kinky it is,’” Giuffre told the New Yorker.
Giuffre said doctors treated her and other girls, and that Epstein told his buddies that “we were clean, we’re tested regularly, we’re on birth control, no need to use a condom.”
During the Palm Beach investigation, Dershowitz targeted one rape victim, to whom Epstein sent roses and promises to get her into NYU
Some of the most incriminating testimony against Epstein came from one victim identified as A.H. She told police she started going to Epstein’s Florida mansion in 2003, when she was 16 and saving up for a camping trip. A friend directed her to Epstein’s lair as a way to make $200 quickly.
The girl would become Epstein’s “favorite” and he would photograph her naked, she claimed. Epstein even sent the girl roses to celebrate her role in a high-school play.
While the girl made it clear she would never have intercourse with Epstein, she says he forcibly raped her on one occasion. The girl told cops she continued to see him, because he promised to fund her education. She told Palm Beach Detective Joseph Recarey, “You know what he promised me? That I would get into N.Y.U., and he would pay for it. And I waited and I waited and I scored great on my SATs, and I got a 4.0. . . . I think that has a lot to do with the reason I stayed there so long. ’Cause my dream was like right in front of me, you know?”
During the police probe, Dershowitz attacked A.H., sending a letter to Recarey detailing what he called a “troublesome and telling illustration of her character.”
Dershowitz said he sent two investigators to speak with A.H. and instructed them to take notes “because we feared that she, an accomplished drama student, might try to mislead them as successfully as she had misled others.”
The Harvard lawyer then provided a dossier on A.H.’s social media, including her MySpace profile. Dershowitz wrote, “She, herself, has chosen to go by the nickname of ‘pimp juice’ and the site goes on to detail, including photos, her apparent fascination with marijuana.”
Dershowitz gathered evidence on Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre from her ex-boyfriend and a childhood friend
Giuffre says she called her former boyfriend, Tony Figueroa, from Epstein’s private isle in the Virgin Islands and complained about being required to have sex with Dershowitz, whom she described as “O.J. Simpson’s lawyer.”
In January 2016, two of Dershowitz’s attorneys found Figueroa to secure an affidavit from him, in a bid to prevent similar testimony. “Virginia only once mentioned Alan Dershowitz,” the affidavit stated. “I remember she described Mr. Dershowitz as ‘O. J. Simpson’s lawyer.’ She did not say she ever had any physical contact with him.” The New Yorker notes that Figueroa has been arrested several times on minor drug charges.
Dershowitz also recorded phone calls with Rebecca Boylan, a childhood friend of Giuffre’s, in which Boylan claims Giuffre falsely accused Dershowitz under pressure from her lawyers. Boylan said, “I’ve never heard her mention you as [sic] when we were kids.”
While Giuffre said Boylan agreed to the call with Dershowitz after the women had a falling out, Dershowitz told the New Yorker that Boylan contacted him because she was “horrified by what was happening to me.”
Dershowitz contacted Virginia Giuffre’s lawyer, David Boies, to discuss a settlement.
In December 2015, Dershowitz emailed Boies to discuss a payout, as long as Giuffre stated publicly that her accusations against him were a mistake.
Dershowitz offered a draft of a brief statement on Giuffre’s behalf: “The events at issue occurred approximately 15 years ago when I was a teenager. Although I believed then and continued to believe that AD was the person with whom I had sex, recent developments raise the possibility that this may be a case of mistaken identification.”
Meanwhile, Dershowitz secretly recorded a phone call with Boies. Dershowitz claims this conversation proves Boies must have known Giuffre was lying.
“The recording has frequent stops and starts, and in many places is unintelligible,” New Yorker writer Connie Bruck notes of the phone call Dershowitz has mentioned to other reporters, including one at The Daily Beast.
Boies said he was discussing a hypothetical conversation about a settlement with Giuffre when he said, “We know you believe that you had relations with Professor Dershowitz. . . . We have now reviewed the documentary evidence, and we are convinced that your belief is wrong.”
The lawyer also presented the New Yorker with an email he sent after the call with Dershowitz. “From the way he kept trying to put words in my mouth,” Boies wrote. “I suspected he was taping the call.”