‘Jane Doe’ Lawyers Sue Dershowitz for Defamation
By JACOB GERSHMAN
Alan Dershowitz has vowed to slap a defamation suit on the two lawyers who claimed in a court document that Florida financier Jeffrey Epstein arranged sexual liaisons for him with an underage prostitute.
Those lawyers have beaten him to the punch.
Paul Cassell and Bradley Edwards, who represent a woman claiming she had “sexual relations” with Mr. Dershowitz at Mr. Epstein’s direction, have filed a defamation lawsuit against Mr. Dershowitz in Florida circuit court, according to Mr. Cassell.
States the lawsuit:
Immediately following the filing of what the Defendant, DERSHOWITZ, knew to be an entirely proper and well-founded pleading, DERSHOWITZ initiated a massive public media assault on the reputation and character of BRADLEY J. EDWARDS and PAUL G. CASSELL accusing them of intentionally lying in their filing, of having leveled knowingly false accusations against the Defendant, DERSHOWITZ, without ever conducting any investigation of the credibility of the accusations, and of having acted unethically to the extent that their willful misconduct warranted and required disbarment
It cites an interview that Mr. Dershowitz gave to CNN International in which he called Messrs. Cassell and Edwards “sleazy, unprofessional, unethical lawyers” who should have known that their client is “lying through her teeth.”
Told of the lawsuit on Tuesday, Mr. Dershowitz told Law Blog that he was “thrilled” by the development, “This gives me a chance to litigate the case. I can expose their corruption,” he said. “I can show how fraudulent the allegations are. This makes my day.”
Mr. Dershowitz said the lawsuit will allow his lawyers — among other things — to depose Messrs. Cassell and Edwards and their client, a woman identified in court papers as Jane Doe #3.
Mr. Cassell had no comment concerning Mr. Dershowitz’s latest remarks.
Mr. Dershowitz has sought to shoot down claims that surfaced last week in a court filing by plaintiffs as part of a lawsuit against the federal government over a 2007 non-prosecution deal it struck with Mr. Epstein. Mr. Epstein is a former client and friend of Mr. Dershowitz’s who pleaded guilty in 2008 to a state charge of soliciting underage prostitutes.
Mr. Epstein avoided federal prosecution as part of a deal with U.S. prosecutors that Mr. Dershowitz helped negotiate. That agreement is the subject of a lawsuit against the U.S. government brought by alleged sexual-abuse victims, who seek to invalidate what they claim was a secret sweetheart deal, a charge the government denies.
Jane Doe #3, a woman seeking to join the lawsuit, says Mr. Epstein ordered her to have “sexual relations” with Mr. Dershowitz on the businessman’s private plane, on his private Caribbean island and also his homes in New York City and Palm Beach. The same document also links Prince Andrew, the son of Queen Elizabeth II, to the prostitution ring, eliciting a strongly worded denial by Buckingham Palace.
Mr. Dershowitz, in a sworn statement filed in federal court on Monday, labeled Jane Doe #3 a “serial liar,” while accusing her lawyers of deliberately making a “false and defamatory” charge.
Martin Weinberg, a lawyer for Mr. Epstein, who isn’t a party to the lawsuit, told Law Blog in an earlier statement that the allegations against Mr. Dershowitz “are old, and discredited, and appear designed to do nothing more than generate as much tabloid publicity as possible.”
This is where the rubber meets the road. Now the showdown is about to commence.