Lawyer seeks to clear name in Prince Andrew case

Alan Dershowitz is accused of having sex with an underage girl in Florida

US lawyer Alan Dershowitz (above), who is accused of having sex with an underage girl in the case that also involves Prince Andrew, has begun legal action to clear his name. Photograph: Reuters

US lawyer Alan Dershowitz (above), who is accused of having sex with an underage girl in the case that also involves Prince Andrew, has begun legal action to clear his name. Photograph: Reuters

 

US lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who is accused of having sex with an underage girl in the case that also involves Prince Andrew, has begun legal action to clear his name.

He has vowed to seek the disbarment of two lawyers representing a woman who has accused him of sexually abusing her when she was underage. But legal experts said he faces an uphill battle.

In a filing in Florida federal court last week, former federal judge Paul Cassell and Florida lawyer Bradley Edwards said that their client was forced as a minor by financier Jeffrey Epstein to have sex with several people, including Dershowitz and Prince Andrew.

Dershowitz, a Harvard University professor emeritus, represented Epstein against sex crime charges, for which he served a 13-month sentence after pleading guilty in 2008.

The lawyers’ client is named in court papers as Jane Doe #3, but has been identified by Buckingham Palace as Virginia Roberts.

Dershowitz (76) has denied that he ever had sex with Roberts - and said Cassell, a University of Utah law professor, and Edwards knew the charges were false when they filed them. He is currently not a target of the Roberts lawsuit. But Dershowitz is seeking to intervene in order to defend himself. Buckingham Palace officials have also denied the allegations against Prince Andrew.

Dershowitz said he would file a defamation lawsuit based on the lawyers’ public statements about the case. He also plans to file complaints with their respective states’ disciplinary boards asking that they be disbarred.

The boards would then decide whether to open an investigation and whether to bring charges.

Edwards and Cassell said in a joint statement that they had carefully investigated all of the allegations in their pleadings before presenting them.

They also said they had tried to depose Dershowitz and that he had refused, which Dershowitz called a “total lie.” He said he received only one deposition request from the two lawyers five years ago, asking about his relationship with Epstein - and that it said nothing about any of the new allegations.

Several law professors specialising in legal ethics said that even if Dershowitz could prove the allegations were false, that was unlikely to get the two lawyers disbarred.

Agencies