A well-known criminal defense lawyer, who along with Prince Andrew has been accused of having sex with an under-age girl, has denied the allegations in a federal court filing and asked that his name be removed from the case.
In court papers filed Monday in the Southern District of Florida, representatives for the lawyer, Alan M. Dershowitz, called the claims that he had sex with a minor “outrageous and impertinent.”
The accusations against Mr. Dershowitz, a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School, and Prince Andrew, second son of Queen Elizabeth and fifth in line to the British throne, came in a motion filed Dec. 30 as part of a broader, long-running federal lawsuit. Mr. Dershowitz and Prince Andrew are not parties to the broader lawsuit.
The motion claimed that Jeffrey E. Epstein, a wealthy businessman who has previously pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution, had forced the girl, beginning at age 15, to have sex with “politically connected and financially powerful people,” including Mr. Dershowitz and Prince Andrew. Buckingham Palace has vehemently denied the allegations against the prince.
The woman, who was not identified in the court document, was repeatedly sexually abused by Mr. Epstein as a minor, the filing said, and was “required” to have sex with Prince Andrew and Mr. Dershowitz several times, including in Florida, New York, New Mexico and the Virgin Islands and on private planes.
The motion also claimed that Mr. Dershowitz had abused other minors and had been “an eyewitness to the sexual abuse of many other minors” by Mr. Epstein and others.
In a statement accompanying the court filing, Mr. Dershowitz said the encounters could not have occurred for several reasons, including the one time he had visited Mr. Epstein’s house in New Mexico. The house was still under construction, and Mr. Dershowitz said he had stayed for about an hour. He was accompanied, he said, by his wife and daughter and another couple.
“Mr. Epstein was not there,” Mr. Dershowitz said. “Nor were there any young girls visible at any time.”
Bradley J. Edwards, a lawyer for the woman, declined to comment Tuesday.
Mr. Dershowitz’s lawyers said in their motion that the allegation was “nothing more than a vehicle to impugn the reputation of Professor Dershowitz, filed with the certain result of stirring up media interest.”
The motion argued that Mr. Dershowitz, who has previously served as Mr. Epstein’s lawyer, should be allowed to remove his name from the case given that the allegations of sexual abuse had harmed his reputation.
“Few accusations, if any, can launch such an immediate sensation as well as an enduring taint, notwithstanding their utter falsity and the impeccable reputation of the accused,” the motion said.
Further, the motion maintained that the accusation, while “categorically false,” had no relevance to the underlying lawsuit.
The broader lawsuit was filed in 2008 by two women who claimed that federal prosecutors had failed to adequately take into consideration their legal claims.
While the Palm Beach police said they believed they had sufficient evidence for Mr. Epstein to be charged with at least four counts of unlawful sex with minors, he was allowed to plead guilty to a single count of soliciting an under-age girl for prostitution and was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Subsequently, lawyers for two other women — including the woman who claimed to have had sex as a minor with Mr. Dershowitz and Prince Andrew — filed a motion seeking to join the lawsuit. A decision is pending.