Longtime Democratic Party legal apparatchik David Boies is suing longtime legal commentator, Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz for defamation. The subject matter of the complaint concerns Dershowitz’s late former client, convicted sex offender and accused child sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
Boies’s lawsuit was filed with the Supreme Court of the State of New York sometime on Thursday, per the filing. A copy of the 19-page lawsuit has been obtained by Law&Crime.
“In the more than half a century during which [Boies] has practiced law, he has been the subject of considerable public praise and criticism; some of both of which was reasonably justified, some of both less so,” the lawsuit begins. “However, never has he been the subject of sustained, false, accusations of criminal conduct like those leveled by [Dershowitz] since at least November 2018.”
The filing plays up Dershowitz’s association with Epstein and notes that he “has also been personally accused under oath by two women of sexually abusing them when they were young. In an effort to distract attention from his own misconduct, [Dershowitz] has engaged in a campaign to attack and vilify each of the lawyers who have represented his victims, one of which is [Boies].”
The filing elaborates on such alleged attacks and vilification:
[Dershowitz] has repeatedly asserted that [Boies] is guilty of an extortion scheme that either extorted or sought to extort ([Dershowitz] has said both) money from billionaire Leslie Wexner, and that [Boies] induced the women who have sworn that [Dershowitz] abused them to make up that report as part of that extortion scheme. Those allegations, as [Dershowitz] knows, are false. [Dershowitz] makes those assertions without any basis whatsoever, with total disregard for whether they are true or false, and in the face of facts demonstrating that they are in fact false.
Specifically, the lawsuit cites nine separate statements Dershowitz made to various news outlets about Boies over the course of nearly a year–beginning with a November 2018 accusation in the Miami Herald that Boies had falsely engineered sexual assault claims leveled against Dershowitz by alleged Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre.
That Julie K. Brown article contained the following passage:
“The story was 100 percent flatly categorically made-up,’ [Dershowitz] said, adding that Roberts and her attorneys fabricated the assertion in order to get money from other powerful, wealthy people she alleges she had sex with.”
“[Dershowitz] intended, and a reasonable reader of the November 28 Miami Herald Article would understand, that [Dershowitz] was accusing [Boies] of suborning perjury and engaging in extortion,” the lawsuit claims.
Less than a month later, Dershowitz accused Boies of essentially similar perfidy viz. a different alleged Epstein victim in a quote provided to the New York Daily News for another Epstein article.
Again the lawsuit:
In response to Ms. [Sarah] Ransome’s allegation that Epstein directed her to have sex with [Dershowitz], [Dershowitz] provided a statement that was published in the New York Daily News Article. [Dershowitz] asserted that [Boies] had knowingly caused Ms. Ransome to falsely accuse [Dershowitz] of sexual assault, asserting, “The villain here is David Boies, who is exploiting a crazy woman in order to get revenge against me.”
The day after that, Dershowitz wrote a letter to the Daily News attacking Boies’s integrity and Ransome’s mental faculties.
“Attorney David Boies threatened that unless I withdrew a bar complaint I had filed against him for falsely accusing me of sexual misconduct, he would find another woman to accuse me of similar misconduct,” Dershowitz wrote.
The letter also claimed that “[Boies] has now found an unbalanced woman,” and that “She only began to accuse me after meeting Boies.”
Six additional allegations of roughly the same nature are included in Boies’s defamation suit. According to the complaint, Dershowitz defamed Boies in comments made to the Harvard Crimson, Fox News, Newsmax, New York Magazine and the Washington Post–with the latest alleged defamatory statement made in mid-October 2019.
“Defendant intended his false statements to be specific statements of fact,” the lawsuit says–invoking legal terms of art specific to defamation law in New York State. “Defendant’s false statements were broadcast around the world and would have been understood by those who heard them to be specific factual claims by Defendant that Plaintiff asked two of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims to intentionally lie about having sex with Defendant, that Plaintiff had committed the crime of extortion, and that Plaintiff had committed various violations of professional ethics.”
Boies is suing for unspecified general, compensatory, nominal and punitive damages–with interest–and for attorney’s fees. Law&Crime reached out to Dershowitz for comment on this story but no response was forthcoming at the time of publication.
Giuffre has a long-running defamation case against Dershowitz over his repeat claims that she invented her abuse claims against him. On Thursday, Dershowitz filed a counterclaim accusing Giuffre of libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Dershowitz said he has never met Giuffre and that her allegations against him are false.
Notably, Dershowitz previously convinced a judge to boot Boies and his firm from representing Giuffre in the case.
Months before that, Dershowitz and Boies sparred publicly.
As previously reported by Law&Crime, Dershowitz vigorously defended his “sexual probity,” and accused Boies of lying in an attempt to “destroy” his reputation. Boies called Dershowitz’s allegations “absurd,” and said it was nothing more than an attempt to “make this between him and me.”
“For some unknown and unknowable reason, I’ve decided to go after him. That’s absurd. It’s disproved,” Boies said. Boies would add that he was “initially very impressed with the representations [Dershowitz] made” regarding his whereabouts during the time period relevant to the Giuffre allegations. However, Boies claimed that flight logs from Epstein’s plane–dubbed in the media as the “Lolita Express”–contradicted Dershowitz’s details, particularly that he never traveled without his wife.
Dershowitz doubled-down, insinuating that Boies is the one that should be worried about a checkered sexual past.
“[Boies] is also aware that there are soon to unsealed emails and a book manuscript in which my false accuser admits she never had sex with me. I will swear under oath that from the day I first met Epstein until today, I have had no sexual contact with any woman but my wife,”, Dershowitz tweeted before issuing a challenge to Boies. “I have challenged Boies to swear that he has not had inappropriate sex contacts with women other than his wife during the same period. He won’t because he has a terrible reputation with regard to inappropriate sex. How dare he falsely accuse me.”
Dershowitz released the following statement after this article was published:
David Boies, by suing me for defaming him by allegedly calling him an extortionist, has put his entire career on trial. We will be cross-examining him on his insidious role in endangering lives in the Theranos scandal, for his role in threatening New York Times journalists in the black cube matter, for threatening to expose the sex life of Emma Cline, a young writer, for improperly seeking hush money from Leslie Wexner, and for misconduct of which other people have accused him. Thankfully, truth is a defense against defamation, and we will prove that everything I said about him is true, and what he has said about me is false. He has opened up a Pandora’s box that endangers him and his law firm. I welcome the opportunity for the public to finally learn the sad truth about Boies and his firm.
“Alan Dershowitz is not only my client, he is a mentor, role model, and personal friend,” said Dershowitz’s attorney Arthur Aidala. “The lawsuit filed by David Boies is a petty move reeking of personal animus. Alan is ready to fight and aggressively defend against this lawsuit. We will have the opportunity to seek discovery directly from Boies, and it completely opens the door to exploring all issues involving Boies’ actions pertaining to Virginia Giuffre and others.”
You can read the Boies lawsuit below.
Matt Naham contributed to this report.
[image via screengrab/Fox News]
Editor’s note: this article has been amended post-publication to include a response from Dershowitz.