Alan Dershowitz Interview on Ghislaine Maxwell Leaves Viewers Outraged: 'Inexcusable'

The BBC is facing criticism for hosting constitutional law expert Alan Dershowitz as a commentator on the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell on five out of six counts relating to assisting Jeffrey Epstein in the sexual abuse of young girls.

Dershowitz appeared on BBC World News following the verdict in Maxwell's case on Wednesday and the U.K. network didn't note the accusations against him by Virginia Giuffre, who has also accused the U.K.'s Prince Andrew of sexual assault.

Giuffre has claimed Epstein and Maxwell lent her out to powerful men for sex, including Dershowitz and the prince. Both men have strongly denied the allegations against them.

During his appearance on the BBC, Dershowitz highlighted the fact that the government didn't call Giuffre as a witness. She is currently suing Dershowitz for defamation and he is countersuing.

"The government did not use as a witness the woman who accused Prince Andrew, who accused me, accused many other people because the government didn't believe she was telling the truth," Dershowitz said.

Dershowitz also said the Maxwell case "weakens the case against Prince Andrew considerably because the government was very selective in who it used."

Some social media users reacted with surprise and anger to Dershowitz's appearance on the BBC, and there was strong criticism of the TV network for the decision.

The BBC Press Office issued a statement to Newsweek on Thursday about Dershowitz' appearance.

"The interview with Alan Dershowitz after the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict did not meet the BBC's editorial standards, as Mr. Dershowitz was not a suitable person to interview as an impartial analyst, and we did not make the relevant background clear to our audience. We will look into how this happened," the statement said.

Alan Dershowitz told Newsweek in a statement on Thursday: "I made full disclosure of Virginia Giuffre's false accusation against me before expressing my opinion about the prosecution's wise decision not to vouch for her credibility by using her as a witness in the Maxwell case."

"The media has repeatedly interviewed alleged victims of Epstein and Maxwell regarding the Maxwell case. It is entirely appropriate for the media to interview a victim of Giuffre's perjury as long as there is full disclosure and no-one is misled," Dershowitz said.

Sarah Churchwell, a professor at the University of London, wrote: "So @BBCNews has decided that the expert witness they need on the Maxwell trial is Alan Dershowitz. Who has taken the opportunity to say that it shows how accusations against him and Prince Andrew are wrong."

"I couldn't believe it - totally inexcusable," former London mayoral candidate Siobhan Benita tweeted in response to Churchwell's comment.

British member of parliament Nadia Whittome tweeted: "Alan Dershowitz, who was accused of the same crimes as Prince Andrew, is on the BBC trying to silence victims following Ghislaine Maxwell's conviction."

"I can't believe this needs to be said but the BBC should not give a platform to people accused of child sexual abuse," Whittome said.

In another tweet, Whittome added: "We have a responsibility to believe people when they disclose sexual abuse and to create conditions in which they can in the first place. All details of Epstein's Network should be published and all victims/survivors are owed justice. This is clearly the tip of the iceberg."

Barrister Caoilfhionn Gallagher wrote: "Sorry, what?! @BBCNews now have Alan Dershowitz on to analyse #GhislaineMaxwell's conviction, without any reference to his background; he's simply introduced as 'constitutional lawyer' as if he's a neutral expert. Shocked. Utterly bizarre decision & does the audience a disservice."

Dershowitz also appeared on Fox News to discuss the Maxwell case but as journalist Aaron Rupar pointed out on Twitter, the network mentioned Dershowitz's connection to Epstein.

Retweeting Gallagher, Rupar wrote: "Fox News at least acknowledged Dershowitz's connections with Epstein. Unfathomable that the BBC thought this was a good idea."

UPDATE 12/30/21 8:45 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include a statement from Alan Dershowitz.

UPDATE 12/30/21 6:13 a.m. ET: This article was updated to include a statement from the BBC Press Office.

Alan Dershowitz Speaks to the Press
Attorney Alan Dershowitz, a member of President Donald Trump's legal team, speaks to the press in the Senate Reception Room during the Senate impeachment trial at the U.S. Capitol on January 29, 2020, in Washington, DC. The BBC has received strong criticism for interviewing Dershowitz following the verdict in the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell. Mario Tama/Getty Images