Court documents filed in a recently settled lawsuit against billionaire, Harvard donor, and convicted sex offender Jeffrey E. Epstein allege Epstein directed a second woman to have sex with Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz.
The new charge against Dershowitz came to light during a Nov. 7 hearing in a lawsuit filed by Sarah Ransome against Epstein, his associate Ghislaine Maxwell, and several others, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday. Ransome alleges Epstein and Maxwell trafficked her for sex in 2006 and 2007.
Epstein — who holds strong ties to the University through multi-million dollar donations and close relationships with high-profile affiliates — was first charged with operating a sex ring of underage girls out of his Palm Beach, Fla. home in 2005. At the time, Dershowitz served on the seven-person legal team that struck a plea deal with prosecutors on Epstein’s behalf, the Herald reported in a three-part feature last month.
During the Nov. 7 hearing, Maxwell’s lawyer, Laura Menninger, mentioned Dershowitz’s name as one of several “third party” persons Ransome alleges Epstein directed her to have sex with, the New York Daily News first reported. The transcript of that hearing, once publicly available, has since been sealed.
Nowhere in the case or the transcript does anyone allege Ransome had sex with Dershowitz, according to the Herald.
Dershowitz repeatedly denied the allegations in an interview with The Crimson Thursday.
Dershowitz said he has never met Ransome and he questioned her credibility. He said Ransome has previously contacted the New York Post with evidence that Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump had engaged in sexual activity with minors, but that a reporter from the Post had told him Ransome was not credible.
Dershowitz said he believes he is a victim, which is why he is “speaking out” publicly about the accusation.
“I am a victim of a false accusation, a deliberate false accusation, an attempt to frame me for money,” he said. “And victims should speak out.”
Ransome’s lawyer David Boies responded to Dershowitz’s comments on his clients in an email to The Crimson Friday, writing that “it is reprehensible for him to continue to attack and demean young women who he knows were sex trafficking victims of his friend and client Jeffrey Epstein.”
Boies declined to comment on the “specific facts that were revealed in discovery” in Ransome’s case, citing “existing protective orders.”
Dershowitz first faced allegations of having sexual relations with a minor in 2015, when Virginia Roberts — another woman who accused Epstein of trafficking her — stated in an affidavit in a Florida federal court that Epstein “forced” her to have sexual relations with Dershowitz “while she was a minor, not only in Florida but also on private planes, in New York, New Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”
Dershowitz has denied Roberts’ allegations multiple times over several years and has stated that he has never met Roberts. The judge presiding over the case ultimately struck the allegations from the record without commenting on their veracity, stating that they were not relevant to the suit.
Dershowitz previously wrote in a letter to the Herald that he not only “denied” that he had sex with Roberts — as was reported in the Herald — but that he “disproved it” during an investigation run by former FBI chief Louis J. Freeh.
After the new allegation against Dershowitz became public earlier this week, Ransome’s suit was confidentially settled Thursday, court documents state.
Dershowitz said Boies orchestrated Ransome’s allegation against him in retaliation for a bar complaint Dershowitz filed against Boies, calling Boies a “villain.”
“This is the result of a threat by David Boies, against whom I filed ethics charges with the bar, that if I did not withdraw my ethics charges, he would come up with another woman,” Dershowitz said.
Boies wrote that Dershowitz’s accusations against him are “completely false.”
“Mr. Dershowitz should be ashamed of himself,” Boies wrote. “I am ashamed he is a member of my profession.”
“Harvard should be ashamed of his association with it,” he added.
Harvard spokespeople Robb London and Melodie Jackson declined to comment for this story.
—Staff writer Molly C. McCafferty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @mollmccaff.
—Staff writer Aidan F. Ryan can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @AidanRyanNH.