BBC concedes on-air Alan Dershowitz interview after Ghislaine Maxwell verdict didn’t measure up to its editorial standards
The BBC apologized on Thursday for bringing attorney Alan Dershowitz on to discuss Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction on five of six counts in a globally high-profile sex-abuse trial — even though he himself faces allegations by a Jeffrey Epstein accuser. Dershowitz, who represented Epstein in his controversial wrist-slap 2008 plea deal, used his airtime Wednesday night to blast his accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, as not credible.
“The most important thing for British viewers is that the government was very careful who it used as witnesses,” he told viewers. “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.” See: Alan Dershowitz sues Netflix over portrayal in Jeffrey Epstein series The public broadcaster issued a statement Thursday morning, saying its interview with Dershowitz, 83, “did not meet BBC’s 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.” Giuffre has long accused Dershowitz of having sex with her when she was as young as 16. Giuffre has also accused Prince Andrew of sexual assault in a civil lawsuit. Dershowitz has denied the allegations and sued Giuffre for defamation, claiming she’s a “serial liar” who used his name because he was famous. Dershowitz, a Harvard law-school professor, came to wide renown defending the likes of Claus von Bülow, Leona Helmsley, O.J. Simpson and televangelist Jim Bakker — and, more recently, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and, in the first of his impeachment trials, then-President Donald Trump. From the archives (January 2020): ‘Criminal-like conduct is required [in presidential impeachment],’ according to Trump defense team member Alan Dershowitz — an ‘absurdist position,’ says lead Democratic prosecutor Adam Schiff Also see: Trump defense: Even if there was ‘quid pro quo,’ it’s not impeachable Andrew has also vehemently denied the Giuffre claims. Viewers were quick to call out the network for the decision to have him on the show. “Sorry, what?! @BBCNews now have Alan Dershowitz on to analyse [sic] #GhislaineMaxwell’s conviction, without any reference to his background,” one Twitter user wrote. “He’s simply introduced as ‘constitutional lawyer’ as if he’s a neutral expert. Shocked. Utterly bizarre decision & does the audience a disservice.” Another added, “There needs to be a big apology from the BBC about this. Terrible, terrible decision.”