Epstein survivor Virginia Giuffre has settled her defamation lawsuit against Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, saying she might have “made a mistake” when she accused him of sexually assaulting her as a teenager, the New York Times reports. “I have long believed that I was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein to Alan Dershowitz,” Giuffre said in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”
Dershowitz, a former friend of Epstein’s known for representing O.J. Simpson and Mike Tyson, served as Epstein’s legal defense after he was first charged with abusing dozens of underage girls in the aughts, negotiating a forgiving plea deal for the disgraced financier in 2008. The lenient terms of that deal — which allowed Epstein to avoid a possible life sentence and instead serve just 13 months in a work-release program — spurred further litigation, including a 2014 lawsuit that sought to have it thrown out for violating a federal law requiring non-prosecution agreements to be shared with the victims. In that lawsuit, Giuffre alleged Dershowitz had sex with her when she was underage, a claim Dershowitz has categorically denied, calling Giuffre a “certified, complete, and total liar” and waging fervid campaigns to recoup his reputation. In 2019, Giuffre sued Dershowitz for defamation; he countersued. That same year, Giuffre’s lawyer David Boies also filed a defamation suit against Dershowitz after the latter accused him of fabricating Giuffre’s allegations as part of an extortion plot; Dershowitz countersued him in 2020. Both pairs of lawsuits were dismissed with Tuesday’s settlement, and the Times reports that no party will be awarded payments.
Giuffre’s lawsuit against Dershowitz was one of several legal actions she’s taken against Epstein and his alleged associates. Prior to Epstein’s death in 2019, Giuffre settled a sex-abuse lawsuit against him for $500,000; earlier this year, she settled a suit with Prince Andrew, whom Giuffre accused of raping her when she was 17, for an undisclosed amount that’s estimated to be in the millions. Her 2009 defamation lawsuit against Epstein’s longtime girlfriend and associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, whom Giuffre accused of recruiting her into sex trafficking as a minor, helped lead to Maxwell’s ultimate conviction on sex-trafficking charges and her 20-year prison sentence earlier this year. In a statement regarding Tuesday’s dropped suits, Dershowitz said of Giuffre, per the Times: “She has suffered much at the hands of Jeffrey Epstein, and I commend her work combating the evil of sex trafficking.”