World News

BBC Admits That Its Interview of Alan Dershowitz Did Not Meet Editorial Standards

The BBC, in a statement on Thursday, admitted that its interview with lawyer Alan Dershowitz, following the conviction of Jeffrey Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell, did not meet its editorial standards.


“Last night’s 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,” read the news agency’s statement.

A former Harvard Law School professor, Dershowitz gained notoriety after Virginia Giuffre, a victim of Epstein’s, filed a lawsuit against him and alleged that he had sexually abused her. Dershowitz has denied these allegations and has filed a defamation suit against Giuffre.

Even before Giuffre’s complaint, Dershowitz was known for being a long-time acquaintance of Epstein and the one who had aided the late American financier in obtaining an easy plea deal in 2008. This was around the time Epstein was under investigation for sexually abusing underage girls.

Epstein died by suicide in his prison cell in 2019, after he was charged with sex trafficking and exploiting several girls and women.

On Wednesday, Epstein’s associate Maxwell was convicted for trafficking and sexually abusing underage girls.

Following this, despite his questionable background, BBC interviewed Dershowitz and left out the parts that potentially connected him to Maxwell’s trial and conviction via Giuffre. Instead, the broadcasting agency introduced Dershowitz as a “constitutional lawyer” who would provide analysis on the verdict. This step drew much criticism on social media.

Adam Wagner, a human rights barrister, called the action a “huge error” on BBC’s part.

Another Twitter user and human rights activist, Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, called the decision bizarre. She wrote, “Sorry, what?! BBC News now have Alan Dershowitz on to analyse Ghislaine Maxwell’s conviction, without any reference to his background; he’s simply introduced as ‘constitutional lawyer’ as if he’s a neutral expert. Shocked.”


However, Dershowitz himself supposedly mentioned the connection during the interview, and said, “Well, I think the most important thing, particularly for British viewers, [is that] the government was very careful who it used as witnesses [in Maxwell’s trial]. It did not use as a witness the woman who accused Prince Andrew, accused me, accused many other people because the government didn’t believe she was telling the truth. In fact, she, Virginia Giuffre, was mentioned in the trial as somebody who brought young people to Epstein for him to abuse.”

He also said that Maxwell’s conviction further weakened the case of sexual abuse against Prince Andrew, who is also named a perpetrator in Giuffre’s lawsuit. She has sued the Duke of York for allegedly sexually assaulting and battering her, when she was 17.