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The BBC has apologized for broadcasting an interview with Jeffrey Epstein’s former lawyer Alan Dershowitz without disclosing that Dershowitz has also been accused of sexual abuse by one of Epstein’s victims.
Dershowitz appeared on BBC News live from New York on Wednesday evening, shortly after a jury handed down the guilty verdict in Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial. The former British socialite, who was on trial for sex trafficking, was convicted on federal charges of luring underage girls to engage in sex acts with Epstein.
Speaking from what appeared to be his home office, Dershowitz was introduced to viewers by a BBC News presenter as a “constitutional lawyer,” before being asked to comment on the jury’s verdict.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an Epstein survivor, is embroiled in litigation with Dershowitz and the U.K.’s Prince Andrew after accusing both men of sexual abuse. Dershowitz and Prince Andrew deny the allegations.
Viewers on Twitter quickly complained about the choice to interview Dershowitz without disclosing his own connection to the trial, although during the interview Dershowitz did mention the allegations against him.
“Well I think the most important thing, particularly for British viewers, [is that] the government was very careful who it used as witnesses [in Maxwell’s trial],” Dershowitz said during the interview. “It did not use as a witness the woman who accused Prince Andrew, accused me, accused many other people because the government didn’t believe she was telling the truth. In fact, she, Virginia Giuffre, was mentioned in the trial as somebody who brought young people to Epstein for him to abuse.”
Following complaints, the BBC issued a statement acknowledging the interview fell short of its “editorial standards.”
“The 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,” said a spokesperson. “We will look into how this happened.”
During the interview, Dershowitz added that despite Maxwell’s conviction, the verdict only “weakens” the case against Prince Andrew. However, U.K. newspapers have generally interpreted Maxwell’s conviction to spell bad news for Prince Andrew, who has reportedly filed a motion to have Giuffre’s case thrown out over her residency status.