One of Jeffrey Epstein’s most prominent survivors revealed in a filing on Monday that she and Alan Dershowitz may go to trial next year — and she intends to take the stand against the retired Harvard law professor.
Attorneys for Virginia Giuffre say that she and Dershowitz want a target date for trial in March 2023.
If agreed upon by Senior U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska, the schedule would call for fact discovery to close on Nov. 30, 2022 and expert discovery to wrap by Feb. 15, 2023.
“Plaintiff understands the Court had previously indicated a desire to have a trial in the Fall of this year, but neither party now believes that is possible; and indeed, we believe a March trial is optimistic and aggressive for the following reasons,” Giuffre’s counsel Charles J. Cooper wrote in a letter filed with the court on Monday.
Giuffre has alleged that she was instructed to have sex with Dershowitz. She sued him for defamation in 2019, after he responded to those allegations by calling her a “certified, complete, total liar.” Dershowitz filed a countersuit later that year, and their litigation stagnated amid the COVID-19 pandemic and furious activity on the Epstein docket.
Since Giuffre first filed her case, Epstein was charged with sex trafficking in the Southern District of New York. The disgraced financier, who was convicted of soliciting prostitution from a minor in 2008, was found dead in his jail cell a little more than a month later. Epstein’s associate Ghislaine Maxwell would later be tried and convicted of the same conspiracy, and she recently received a 20-year sentence.
On the road to trial with Dershowitz, Giuffre filed and settled a separate lawsuit against the U.K.’s Prince Andrew.
With other Epstein-related matters settling down, Giuffre’s wrangling with Dershowitz continues to accelerate. Giuffre is expected to resume a deposition via Zoom from Australia, where she lives, later this month on July 26. Dershowitz’s deposition will take place in Boston, Mass., on Aug. 30 and 31.
Guiffre’s lawyers say that they identified three affirmative expert witnesses, but they may call others if Dershowitz continues to claim physical, emotional, and mental damages.
“We currently anticipate submitting expert testimony from an expert on sex trafficking, a forensic psychologist, and an expert on the dissemination of Defendant’s defamatory statements over the internet,” her letter states.
At the top of Giuffre’s list of anticipated fact witnesses is herself. Her attorneys David Boies, Sigrid McCawley, Brad Edwards and Paul Cassell are also on the list. So is Anousaka de Georgiou, a woman described as Epstein’s first British victim. (Edwards and Cassell previously settled a lawsuit with Dershowitz; New York Supreme Court records say Dershowitz’s defamation case against Boies is active.).
In 2009, Giuffre reached a $500,000 confidential settlement with Epstein, which was unsealed earlier this year. She was invited to provide a victim impact statement against Maxwell, though she did not testify at her trial.
“I want to be clear about one thing: without question, Jeffrey Epstein was a terrible pedophile,” Giuffre wrote in her prepared remarks. “But I never would have met Jeffrey Epstein if not for you. For me, and for so many others, you opened the door to hell. And then, Ghislaine, like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, you used your femininity to betray us, and you led us all through it.”
Dershowitz, who represented Epstein, vehemently denies wrongdoing, and he never has been charged with a crime. His attorney Arthur Aidala did not immediately respond to Law&Crime’s email requesting comment.
Read the letter, below:
(Screenshot of Giuffre via Miami Herald; Photo of Dershowitz via Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
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