Giuffre says she was wrong to accuse lawyer of abuse
Virginia Giuffre admitted she might have been wrong to accuse Alan Dershowitz of sexual abuse in a new court filing, bringing to an end a three-year legal battle between the pair.
Ms Giuffre said in a statement to The Independent that she long believed she had been trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to Mr Dershowitz, but that she was very young at the time and had been in a stressful and traumatic environment.
“I now recognise I may have made a mistake in identifying Mr Dershowitz,” the statement, first reported by The New York Times, read.
Defamation lawsuits brought by Ms Giuffre and Mr Dershowitz against each other have been dismissed without any costs or fee awarded to either party.
Mr Dershowitz, a Harvard emeritus law professor, had consistently and strenuously denied all allegations of sexual misconduct by Ms Giuffre.
Mr Dershowitz praised Ms Giuffre for having the courage to admit to the mistake in an interview with The Independent yesterday.
“I commend her for finally coming forward and acknowledging that she may have made a mistake in identifying me because of the trauma that she went through,” he told The Independent.
A document confirming the case had been withdrawn was filed with the federal court yesterday.
In April 2019, Ms Giuffre sued Mr Dershowitz for defamation and emotional distress after he called her a “complete, total liar”.
Mr Dershowitz then counter-sued and the case had been due to go to trial next year in federal court in New York.
Lawsuits brought by Mr Dershowitz against Ms Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies, and vice versa, are also now expected to be settled.
Mr Boies said in a statement provided to The Independent that he agreed the time had come to end the litigation and for all parties to move on with their lives.
“I know that Alan Dershowitz has suffered greatly from the allegation of sexual abuse made against him – an allegation that he has consistently and vehemently denied. I also know this litigation has imposed, and continues to impose, a significant burden on Ms Giuffre.”
Mr Dershowitz, 84, represented Epstein in an underage sex case in Florida in 2008, helping to secure a lenient deal that saw him serve just 13 months in a county jail with a six-day-a-week work release.
Epstein was arrested in July 2019 and charged with federal sex trafficking charges related to his abuse of underage girls at properties in Florida, the Caribbean, New York and New Mexico, over several decades.
He was found dead in his cell in at the Metropolitan Correctional Centre in Manhattan just over a month later while awaiting trial.
In July 2020, Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested and charged with trafficking underage victims for Epstein and participating in the abuse of young girls herself.
During a six-week trial in late 2021, prosecutors chose not to call Ms Giuffre as one of four witnesses who testified of the abuse they suffered from Maxwell.
Maxwell was convicted of charges including sex trafficking, conspiracy and transportation of a minor for illegal sexual activity, and sentenced to 20 years in prison in June.
In an interview in July, Mr Dershowitz told The Independent that he had never seen young or naked women on his visits to Epstein’s home in Palm Beach and his private island Little Saint James.
“It was a deep dark secret. Everything he did he did in a part of the house which was off limits to anybody,” he said. “Nobody knew any of this, nobody would have associated with Epstein if we had known any of this.”
Mr Dershowitz represented Donald Trump in his first impeachment trial, and was part of OJ Simpson’s defence team in his 1995 murder trial.
Ms Giuffre has said in interviews and court documents that she met Maxwell while working at Mar-a-Lago in the mid-2000s. She said she was trafficked to locations around the world to have sex with Epstein and his associates, including Prince Andrew.
In February, Prince Andrew agreed to pay an undisclosed settlement fee rumoured to be around $3.4m to $5.6m to avoid a civil trial on the sexual assault allegations in New York.
Want your views to be included in The Independent Daily Edition letters page? Email us by tapping here firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your address