Attorney Alan Dershowitz has countersued a woman who claims he sexually abused and defamed her, claiming she defamed and intentionally inflicted emotional distress on him.
The woman, Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, says she was a victim of multimillionaire alleged pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, and that Dershowitz had sex with her. Epstein died in August while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges; the New York City medical examiner determined he had died by suicide.
Dershowitz claims Giuffre “conspired with her lawyers to publish her false and defamatory claims of and concerning Dershowitz with a knowing or reckless disregard of their falsity,” according to the lawsuit. “She has done so with the specific intent and design that her statements be a source for the media so that the media will publish her false allegations of and concerning Dershowitz that he had sex with her while she was underage as part of Epstein’s criminal sex trafficking of minors.”
Dershowitz adds in the lawsuit that “Giuffre has falsely and with a knowing and reckless disregard of falsity and acting out of ill-will and spite publicly labelled Dershowitz as a child rapist and molester.”
The suit shows that Dershowitz “is ready to aggressively defend against the allegations made against him and press forward with his own claims against Ms. Giuffre for the campaign of defamatory and tortious conduct she has waged against him,” one of his lawyers, Arthur Aidala, said.
Regarding the claim of international infliction of emotional distress, Dershowitz says he “has suffered and continues to suffer from severe emotional distress including anxiety, stress, mental anguish, and the physical effects therefrom, medical conditions including but not limited to cardiac conditions, and other ailments, precipitated by the harassment, disparagement, and other tortious conduct by Giuffre.”
Dershowitz alleges Giuffre and her lawyers at Boies, Schiller Flexner LLP targeted wealthy Epstein associates, including Leslie Wexner, the billionaire founder and CEO of L Brands and owner of Victoria’s Secret. According to the lawsuit, “David Boies personally met with Wexner’s lawyer in what Wexner’s lawyer and wife both described as a ‘shakedown.’”
When asked for comment on the accusation that he was part of a shakedown conspiracy that targeted wealthy Epstein associates, attorney David Boies, who formerly represented Giuffre in her defamation lawsuit against Dershowitz, referred CNN to that lawsuit, telling CNN he thinks it “speaks for itself.”
CNN has reached out to Giuffre’s current attorney Chuck Cooper for comment as well.
In Giuffre’s lawsuit, which was filed in April in the Southern District of New York, she accuses Dershowitz – who used to represent Epstein – of knowingly making “false and malicious defamatory statements” against her. She claims to have been a victim of sex trafficking and abuse by Epstein when she was underage.
Giuffre’s lawsuit alleges “Defendant Dershowitz was Epstein’s attorney, close friend, and co-conspirator. Dershowitz was also a participant in sex trafficking, including as one of the men to whom Epstein lent out Plaintiff for sex.”
Giuffre also alleges in her suit that Dershowitz, 80, was a participant in Epstein’s sex trafficking operation, and that she had sex with Dershowitz as part of that operation. Giuffre has made similar allegations against Dershowitz in court filings in the past.
Dershowitz has repeatedly denied the allegations, including throughout his filing. He is seeking unspecified damages.
“Moving forward, Mr. Dershowitz seeks vindication and justice,” one of his other attorneys, Imran H. Ansari, said. “He will aggressively pursue discovery in this case, leaving no stone unturned, and will zealously defend against Ms. Giuffre’s allegations and prosecute the claims he has now made against her.”
Evan Simko-Bednarski contributed to this report.