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The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was compelled to offer an apology Thursday when it was discovered that famed attorney and former Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz is a person of interest in the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking ring.
Epstein’s de facto partner-in-crime, Ghislaine Maxwell, was convicted by a jury of her peers Wednesday on five of six federal counts for her role as conspirator and facilitator in the lewd scheme that targeted minors, but as it turns out, Dershowitz faces allegations of sexual abuse from one of Epstein’s many accusers.
He appeared for a BBC interview Wednesday after the conviction and used the forum to lambast one Virginia Roberts Giuffre – who was later revealed to be Dershowitz’s accuser.
“The most important thing for British viewers is that the government was very careful who it used as witnesses,” Dershowitz told BBC 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.”
The embarrassed network 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.”
Evidently, Giuffre has maintained for some time the accusation that Dershowitz engaged in sexual intercourse with her as far back as when she was 16. Giuffre has also accused Prince Andrew, Duke of York and ninth in the line of succession to the British royal throne, of sexual assault in a civil lawsuit, the NY Post reported.
Dershowitz has denied the allegations and has filed suit against Giuffre for defamation, claiming she’s a “serial liar” who used his name because he was famous.
Prince Andrew has also adamantly denied her allegations.
Folks on the internet weren’t having any of it, though, and sought to blame the BBC for its apparent error in judgment.
Statement on interview with Alan Dershowitz pic.twitter.com/MlXkqdJI8u
— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) December 30, 2021
“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.”
Between this and interviewing Meghan Markle’s attorney as if she were a Human Resources expert – who then made a determination on her own client’s alleged behavior that you treated as fact – you need to assess your editorial capacity on a larger scale. #journalism
— Carol Ann Yelverton (@CarolYelverton) December 30, 2021
Wow, I hadn’t see the @BBCNews Dershowitz stuff – I didn’t watch them last night – but seriously, there needs to be a big apology from the BBC about this. Terrible, terrible decision.
— Prof Paul Bernal (@PaulbernalUK) December 30, 2021
Maxwell harkened to the verdict in her case as follows:
Count 1 – GUILTY: Conspiracy to Entice Minors to Travel to Engage in Illegal Sex Acts
Count 2 – NOT GUILTY: Enticement of a Minor to Travel to Engage in Illegal Sex Acts
Count 3 – GUILTY: Conspiracy to Transport Minors with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity
Count 4 – GUILTY: Transportation of a Minor with Intent to Engage in Criminal Sexual Activity
Count 5 – GUILTY: Sex Trafficking Conspiracy
Count 6 – GUILTY: Sex Trafficking of a Minor
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