November 30, 2023

Alan Dershowitz

John Lamparski | Getty Images

Famed attorney Alan Dershowitz filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Netflix and the producers of Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich on Wednesday for his portrayal in documentaries about the late billionaire and the accused child trafficker.

Attorneys for Dershowitz, who was interviewed for the 2020 series, claim he was “knowingly and intentionally” misled by the producers who portrayed him as “maliciously and deliberately” “defamatory”.

They did so by “promoting and reinforcing false allegations of sexual misconduct against Professor Dershowitz,” according to the lawsuit filed in federal court in South Florida.

A Netflix spokesman told CNBC in a statement that Dershowitz’s lawsuit “is unfounded and we will vigorously defend our partners and the series”.

Dershowitz is also suing Radical Media LLC and Leroy & Morton Productions LLC, as well as the show’s director Lisa Bryant and producer Joseph Berlinger.

Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre claims she was recruited as part of the Dead Money Manager’s sex trade and directed to have sex with Dershowitz and others.

Dershowitz, who is still fighting Giuffre in court, denies having sex with her and says he never met her. In his defamation lawsuit, the defendants are accused of “failing to present evidence on the Netflix Epstein series that they received and consented to,” exonerating him.

Dershowitz’s denial and Giuffre’s allegation “come out as” he said / she said “conflict,” the lawsuit says. But “it wasn’t a” he said / she said “situation, given the entirety of Professor Dershowitz’s evidence that he never had sex with Giuffre,” the lawyers argue.

Bryant “purposely broke” her repeated promise to include “all of the evidence Professor Dershowitz presented in her rebuttal allegation by Giuffre against Professor Dershowitz to be included in the Netflix franchise,” the lawsuit alleges.

A Giuffre lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Dershowitz is seeking damages of at least $ 20 million each on four different causes, including defamation and breach of contract.

Philip Byler, an attorney for Dershowitz, told CNBC in an email that “the damage figure reflects that Professor Dershowitz’s reputation has been badly damaged”. He found that claims for damages are usually refined as litigation progresses.

“I’m sure you don’t want to be ridiculed for liking sex with underage girls,” added Byler.

Dershowitz had helped negotiate a plea for Epstein more than a decade ago that required the financier to register as a sex offender. Epstein was arrested for sexual trafficking in July 2019. About a month later, he hanged himself in his prison cell in Manhattan Federal Prison.

Harvard law professor Dershowitz had also joined former President Donald Trump’s legal team during his first impeachment battle.

More recently, he told CNBC that he was advising attorneys to MyPillow’s CEO and election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell on a defamation case.

In a statement, Byler said Netflix and the producers of the Epstein show used the professor’s name “to improve the views of their miniseries and then defamed him with skillful factual manipulation.”

“This mocks our first amendment, victims’ rights and the truth itself,” Byler said.