The American woman who accused Prince Andrew of sex trafficking and won millions now says she “may have been mistaken” about accusing Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz of similar alleged misdeeds.
Virginia Roberts Giuffre dropped her longstanding lawsuit against Dershowitz on Tuesday, saying she might have been wrong when she accused the former lawyer for convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein of having sex with her when she was a Florida teenager.
Giuffre, Dershowitz and one of Giuffre’s former lawyers, David Boies, announced in a joint statement that the multiple defamation lawsuits they had filed against each other over the last half-dozen years, based on Giuffre’s accusations against prominent men about alleged sex trafficking, had all been resolved and dropped.
The statement, obtained by USA TODAY, said all pending litigation had been dismissed with prejudice, meaning the cases can’t be refiled. The resolution involves no payment by either side, according to the statement.
“I’m thrilled,” Dershowitz told USA TODAY in a phone interview. “And I’m grateful. She finally has admitted she may have mistaken me for somebody else in identifying me.”
Giuffre’s statement said she had “long believed” she was trafficked by Epstein to Dershowitz, who has denied (and denounced) the allegations since she first made them publicly in 2015. (At the time, her allegations against Prince Andrew got the most attention.)
“However, I was very young at the time, it was a very stressful and traumatic environment, and Mr. Dershowitz has from the beginning consistently denied these allegations,” Giuffre, 39, said in her statement. “I now recognize I may have made a mistake in identifying Mr. Dershowitz. This litigation has been very stressful and burdensome for me and my family, and we believe it is time to bring it to an end and move on with our lives.”
Dershowitz, who has represented numerous celebrities and public figures, including former President Donald Trump, vehemently denied ever having sex with Giuffre. He said so loudly and publicly after her allegations against Andrew, the Duke of York and second son of the late Queen Elizabeth II, went global in January 2015, and the names of other men Giuffre had accused drew headlines.
“I have nevertheless come to believe that at the time she accused me she believed what she said,” Dershowitz said in a statement issued by one of his lawyers, Imran Ansari. “Ms. Giuffre is to be commended for her courage in now stating publicly that she may have been mistaken about me.”
He said Giuffre also deserved credit for trying to combat the “evil of sex trafficking” and noted she had “suffered much at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein,” his former client, who died by suicide in a New York jail in 2019 while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
Dershowitz and Boies also had dueling lawsuits over defamation arising from Boies’ former representation of Giuffre. All those lawsuits are now dismissed.
Dershowitz said he may have been “mistaken” in his allegations against Boies. “I also now believe that my allegations that David Boies engaged in an extortion plot and in suborning perjury were mistaken,” Dershowitz said in his statement.
Boies’ statement acknowledged that Dershowitz had “suffered greatly” from the sexual abuse allegations over the years, and Giuffre from the “burden” of the many lawsuits arising from her allegations.
“I agree with Mr. Dershowitz and Ms. Giuffre that the time has come to end this litigation and move on,” Boies said. “I appreciate Mr. Dershowitz’s recognition that I was not engaged in an extortion plot or in suborning perjury. I accept each of their statements in the spirit in which they are made, and I wish each of them well.”
Giuffre, now a mother of three who lives in western Australia, has already collected millions from various lawsuits she has filed in connection with Epstein over the years.
She accepted $500,000 from Epstein himself in 2009 to settle a lawsuit in which she accused him of hiring her as a teenager to service him sexually at his estate in Palm Beach, Florida.
She won an undisclosed settlement in 2017 in a defamation lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s former girlfriend and employee, who was convicted in 2021 in federal court of luring teenage girls to be sexually abused by Epstein.
And in January, Giuffre won an undisclosed settlement, estimated to range from nearly $4 million to as much as $16 million, from Prince Andrew after she filed a lawsuit against him in federal court in 2021 in New York, alleging she had been trafficked to and sexually abused by the prince in New York, London and the Virgin Islands when she was 17.
Andrew, 62, and Buckingham Palace repeatedly denied the allegations, which damaged his reputation even before a disastrous BBC interview on the matter in 2019.
In the wake of the interview and the settlement, Andrew was forced to retire as a senior royal, and his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, stripped him of his patronages and military associations.
Now that his elder brother has become King Charles III in the wake of the queen’s death, Andrew remains a royal persona non grata. He has been seen in public only for family events, such as as his parents’ funerals, and it is not clear whether he will appear at the king’s coronation in May.
Story Credit: usatoday.com