• Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

BBC launches investigation after inviting ex-Epstein lawyer to discuss Ghislaine Maxwell verdict

·2-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Jeffrey Epstein
    American financier
  • Ghislaine Maxwell
    Ghislaine Maxwell
    Socialite
  • Alan Dershowitz
    American lawyer, author
  • Prince Andrew, Duke of York
    Prince Andrew, Duke of York
    Second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (born 1960)

The BBC has admitted it made a mistake after inviting a lawyer who represented Jeffrey Epstein to discuss the Ghislaine Maxwell sex trafficking verdict.

The corporation said its decision to invite Alan Dershowitz to discuss Maxwell’s guilty verdict on BBC News on Wednesday did not meet editorial guidelines.

Maxwell, 60, who was labelled “dangerous” by the prosecution, faces the rest of her life in jail for helping to entice vulnerable teenagers to Epstein’s various properties for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

Mr Dershowitz, a member of Epstein’s defence team during his first criminal trial, has been accused of sexual abuse by Virgina Giuffre, the same woman who accused Prince Andrew of abuse.

Both men have strenuously denied the accusations, with Mr Dershowitz launching a defamation claim against Ms Giuffre last year.

The Harvard professor was introduced to the BBC’s viewers only as a “constitutional lawyer” without mentioning his previous role with Epstein or the accusation against him by Ms Giuffre.

The corporation said in a statement: “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 the audience.

“We will look into how this happened.”

The 83-year-old used his slot on the BBC News Channel to cast doubt on Ms Guiffre, who was not called by the prosecution to testify against Ghislaine Maxwell during her trial.

He told viewers: “I think the most important thing for British viewers is that the government was very careful who it used as witnesses.

“It did not use as a witness the woman who accused Prince Andrew, who accused me, who accused many other people, because the government didn’t believe she was telling the truth.

“They deliberately didn’t use the main witness, the woman who started the whole investigation — Virginia Giuffre — because they ultimately didn’t believe she was telling the truth and they didn’t believe a jury would believe her and they were right in doing so.”

The decision was criticised, with human rights barrister Adam Wagner saying it was a “huge error by the BBC”.

Human rights lawyer and coroner, Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, said she was “shocked” at the “utterly bizarre decision”.

Maxwell was convicted of helping Jeffrey Epstein sexually abuse teenage girls on Wednesday night. She now could face decades in prison.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting