BBC admits interview with Epstein’s ex-lawyer on Maxwell verdict ‘not suitable’


The BBC said it was investigating after an interview with the high-profile US lawyer, who represented the convicted paedophile Epstein, was aired on BBC News on Wednesday

Dershowitz was introduced as a “constitutional lawyer” on the BBC News channel, with no mention he had been friends with Epstein
Dershowitz was introduced as a “constitutional lawyer” on the BBC News channel, with no mention he had been friends with Epstein

The BBC has said its interview with Jeffrey Epstein’s former lawyer, Alan Dershowitz was “not suitable” following the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell.

The BBC said it was investigating after an interview with the high-profile US lawyer, who represented the convicted paedophile Epstein, was aired on BBC News on Wednesday.

Dershowitz was introduced as a “constitutional lawyer” on the BBC News channel, with no mention he had been friends with Epstein for decades.

Mr Dershowitz, 83, has also been accused of sexual crimes by one of the victims in the Maxwell case, Virginia Giuffre – which he vehemently denies, and he has not been charged with any crime.

Maxwell, 60, was convicted on five out of six charges, which included luring young girls to massage rooms for the disgraced financier Epstein to molest
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SDNY/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)

In a statement, the BBC said: “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.”

Maxwell, 60, was convicted on five out of six charges, which included luring young girls to massage rooms for the disgraced financier Epstein to molest.

Following the verdict, Mr Dershowitz 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.

Epstein, 66, was found dead in his cell at a Manhattan federal jail in August 2019
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SDNY/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock)

“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.”

Giuffre has not responded to Dershowitz’s allegations about her veracity.

The BBC was criticised heavily for the interview, with human rights barrister Adam Wagner describing it as a “huge error”.

The BBC said: “Last night’s interview with Alan Dershowitz after the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict did not meet the BBC’s editorial standards”
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BBC)

Labour MP Nadia Whittome added: “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.”

Prince Andrew has not been charged with any crimes and has always denied any wrongdoing.

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.

Mr Dershowitz, who worked with former president Donald Trump and the former film producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein, is one of the best-known criminal defence lawyers in the US.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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