The open warfare between two of America’s most prominent lawyers has escalated after David Boies, who represents alleged victims of Jeffrey Epstein, filed a defamation suit against Alan Dershowitz, a former lawyer for Epstein.
Mr Boies has accused Mr Dershowitz of repeatedly making false claims that he had caused the alleged victims to make up their stories as part of an extortion scheme, the FT has learnt.
The New York lawyer said in the lawsuit filed in state court in Manhattan on Thursday that Mr Dershowitz had “essentially challenged” him to sue for defamation.
“Plaintiff has concluded he now has no practical alternative but to do so,” the lawsuit said.
Mr Dershowitz, a Harvard professor, told the Financial Times that the lawsuit was a “tactic to try and silence me, but I won’t be silenced”.
“I look forward to cross-examining him and deposing him, and in the end the truth will come out,” Mr Dershowitz said. “He knows that I was falsely accused.”
The feud stems back to 2014, when Mr Boies began representing Virginia Guiffre, an alleged victim of Epstein who has also accused Mr Dershowitz of sexually abusing her.
Mr Dershowitz has vehemently denied the claims and alleged that Mr Boies had concocted the claims as part of a revenge plot.
In the lawsuit on Thursday, Mr Boies claimed his opponent was simply trying to “distract attention from his own misconduct”.
The two lawyers, both in the twilights of their careers, have been titans of the US legal world. Mr Boies famously sparred with Bill Gates in the Microsoft antitrust case of the 1990s, while Mr Dershowitz was a part of the celebrity team that secured OJ Simpson’s acquittal on murder charges.
Now, the case of Epstein, who was found to have committed suicide earlier this year rather than face prosecution on sex trafficking charges, has pitted Mr Boies, 78, against Mr Dershowitz, 81, in a protracted slugfest that has sparked a raft of lawsuits, countersuits and bar complaints.
In April, Ms Guiffre sued Mr Dershowitz for alleged defamation related to his denials of her allegations. She was represented by Mr Boies and his firm, Boies Schiller Flexner, in the case.
Last month, a federal judge allowed the case to continue but handed Mr Dershowitz a partial victory, ruling that Mr Boies and his firm could no longer represent Ms Guiffre in the lawsuit because they were possible witnesses.
Just this week, Mr Dershowitz filed his own defamation lawsuit against Ms Guiffre, adding to the spiralling list of overlapping litigation between the parties.
Sorry. No data so far.