Alan Dershowitz, a former lawyer for ousted financier Jeffrey Epstein, did not appreciate his name appearing in an episode of The Good Fight. The 81-year-old lawyer is demanding an apology from broadcaster CBS for what he describes as “defamatory remarks” made in the series. According to Variety, he is preparing to file a lawsuit.
Alan Dershowitz’s name was mentioned in the final episode of season 4 of the judicial series, which aired on May 27 in the United States. As reported by the American magazine, the episode was devoted to the Epstein case and one of the characters told of having defended the American financier before Alan Dershowitz:
“It was around the time he threw me for Dershowitz,” said this character, played by David Alfort, in the episode. “At least I didn’t ask for a massage, unlike that rogue lawyer.” And to add, as if the production had anticipated the reaction of Alan Dershowitz: “And to prevent any potential lawsuit, ‘crooked lawyer’ reflects only my opinion, and not the statement of a fact.”
Jeffrey Epstein was sentenced in 2008 to 18 months in prison for having used underage prostitutes. In the spring of 2019, he was accused of sexual exploitation of minors, and committed suicide in prison, a death which also arouses controversy.
Suggestions around “massage”
A letter was sent to CBS, the show’s creators and other members of the production in mid-July by Alan Dershowitz’s attorney, Imran Ansari, demanding that the footage be removed from the replay platform. from CBS and that a public apology be issued:
“The dialogue and its context, with implicit words like ‘massage’, ‘Epstein’ (…) combined with the term ‘crooked lawyer’ incorrectly suggest that Professor Dershowitz was having sex, either a ‘massage’ with a minor related to Epstein ‘, can we read in the mail relayed by Variety.
A response came to him from Jonathan Anschell, vice president of ViacomCBS: “As we would explain to a child, the show, its characters and the things they say are all to pretend. don’t watch the show for factual information about Professor Dershowitz, or anyone else. ” They also insist that Alan Dershowitz himself admitted to receiving a massage at the Palm Beach villa of Jeffrey Epstein (from an older woman, as reported New York Magazine).
But this response did not satisfy Alan Dershowitz. “The idea that a fictional character can afford to defame someone is very new,” he said to Variety. “When you mix genres, libel laws apply.”
Imran Ansari sent a letter to Deadline: “Contrary to the posture adopted by CBS, the law does not authorize defame under cover of fiction”, he indicates. No legal action has yet been taken.