Prince Andrew should sue Virginia Giuffre for defamation if she publishes a book repeating her claims against him, high-profile lawyer Alan Dershowitz has told the JC.
The pugnacious Jewish attorney was himself accused of sexual assault by Ms Giuffre before she dropped the case last November, saying she may have made a “mistake” in identifying him.
Speaking to the JC, Mr Dershowitz insisted the Duke of York should never have settled the case because he had “several perfect defences”.
“One defence is that the federal courts have no jurisdiction, that the plaintiff in the case did not live in the United States, she lives in Australia,” he said.
“Second, that she had signed an agreement not to sue any associates of Epstein including royalty. I think, I think — my own opinion — is he would have won the case if he had gone to trial.
“Now he would have had to be deposed, that was the issue. And then he would have had to answer lots of questions and I think the royal family didn’t want him to be exposed to a deposition. But I think as for a trial himself he would have won on legal grounds.”
Whether Prince Andrew would now be able to rehabilitate his image in Britain was unclear, he said. But, he added, “if [Ms Giuffre] writes her book and accuses him, he should sue her for defamation.”
Last month, Ms Giuffre reportedly signed a multi-million dollar deal with an unknown publisher for her memoirs. She claims to have been groomed by Jeffrey Epstein and his confidante Ghislaine Maxwell and held as a virtual sex slave while being abused by powerful men.
Last year, Prince Andrew paid a multi-million pound settlement to settle a civil suitbrought against him by Ms Giuffre in a New York court, without accepting any guilt. He denies her accusations and now appears to be seeking to re-enter public life.
Mr Dershowitz, for long one of America’s most prominent and controversial litigators, was accused by Ms Giuffre of sexually abusing her when she was a teenager. She sued him for defamation after he called her a “complete, total liar,” and he countersued on the same grounds.
The affair meant Mr Dershowitz was “cancelled” by much of the American Jewish community, he said.“As a result of this false accusation I was cancelled at Temple Emanuel… the 92nd Street Y [cultural centre] cancelled me, the [Jewish coeducational] Ramaz School cancelled me, and several other groups cancelled me.
“These were groups that I had spoken to for years. They knew, they all told me, they knew I hadn’t done it.
“The evidence I hadn’t met this woman was overwhelming, but they still cancelled me. They acted abominably.” Mr Dershowitz added: “A lot of neo-Nazi groups have picked up this accusation, have picked up the fact that I’ve been cancelled, they’ve used it against me, against the Jewish community, against Israel.”
David Boies, Ms Guiffre’s lawyer, said: “It is hardly fair to say that there is ‘overwhelming’ evidence that she and Mr. Dershowitz never met… Mr Dershowitz has said many times to the media that he wanted and sought an opportunity to have the charges against him of sexual abuse tried in court.
However, despite Ms. Giuffre’s charges, he never sued her for defamation until she sued him… If the evidence that he had never even met Ms. Giuffre was really ‘overwhelming’, I think you need to ask: what was Mr Dershowitz afraid of?”