As I have previously written, The New Yorker has commissioned a hit piece that seems calculated to silence my voice on President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu and Israel.
Here below is a letter I sent to the editor, the writer and the fact checkers. I have received only a formal response assuring me that the article will be fair. I replied that this will be up to the readers and the courts to judge.
Having been contacted by your “fact” checkers, I now understand the thrust of Connie Bruck’s hit piece: You must know there is no actual evidence that I engaged in sexual misconduct or even met my false accusers — because I did not. So, you appear determined to concoct a false narrative of my life, going back more than 40 years to my first marriage, that falsely suggests that I am the kind of person who “could” or “might” have engaged in such misconduct. To support your false narrative, you began your negative “research” – as you acknowledged to my son -- by sourcing a Holocaust denial site that circulates false stories about prominent Jews, including me. You then interviewed my enemies, my critics, dissenting students and especially anti-Israel and, in some cases anti-Semitic, zealots. The original reporting, which took place over many months, did not include interviews with longtime friends and associates who know me well and can present a more balanced perspective. You agreed to speak to a handful of such people only at the last minute, after I complained to the editor. But even then when some people called you, you told them the story was closed. Let’s see if you include the positive comments that contradict your story, that some of these people relayed to you.
You have even refused to interview me face-to-face. When your negative sources are dead or unwilling to be interviewed, you have quoted decades old adversarial court documents that contain false information that you believe is protected by the litigation privilege. You report old, negative articles about me even though they are based on false information. You don’t seem to care whether the information is provably false, as long as you are protected from a lawsuit. Most importantly you are apparently refusing to include in your one-sided screed information that undercuts your false narrative that I and others have provided you.
Based on the claims of your fact checker, your reporter originally wrote an entirely false account regarding a confrontation between me and a summons server that was fed to you— as many false stories about me have been fed to you. Your writer reported that a summons server tried to serve me in my apartment and that I told him to go “f.. himself.”
The problem is that he tried to serve someone else three times in an apartment that I haven’t lived in for seven (7) years. Finally, that person told him what he could do. But that person wasn’t me. I don’t use that kind of language. Your reporter believed your “source” and was prepared to attribute the episode to me without any proof that it was me. I wonder how many other stories in the article are also the product of such shoddy reporting.
Here is a list of just some of the information and documents that you and your fact checkers have been given. I urge readers of the published article to compare this list with what appears in your article and more importantly what has deliberately been excluded.
(1) Indisputable evidence that an Accuser has a long history of lying for money:
(a) My Accuser was paid $160,000 for information she provided the Daily Mail that included a detailed description of meeting Al Gore and Tipper Gore on Jeffrey Epstein’s island. Here is what she said:
“[Accuser] disclosed that Mr. Clinton's vice-president Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, were also guests of Epstein on his island.
I had no clue that anything was up, [Accuser] says. The Gores seemed like such a beautiful couple when I met them. All I knew was that Mr. Gore was a friend of Jeffrey’s and Ghislaine’s. Jeffrey didn’t ask me to give him a massage.
There might have been a couple of other girls there on that trip but I could never have imagined this guy would do anything wrong. I was planning to vote for him when I turned 18. I thought he was awesome.”
It is undisputed however, that neither Al nor Tipper Gore ever met Jeffrey Epstein or were ever on his island. The Accuser’s description is a complete and total fabrication and/or fantasy. I asked her attorney David Boies to call his former client Al Gore to check on whether she was lying about the Gores. He refused to do so. . I asked Bruck to call Boies and/or Gore to confirm that the Accuser made up the entire story. Let’s see if this damning account appears in the article.
(b) The Accuser, in the same Daily Mail story described in great detail two dinners on Jeffrey Epstein’s island with President Bill Clinton and two 17-year-old girls. She claims that Clinton was flown to the island by a helicopter piloted by Ghislaine Maxwell, who had just recently received her pilot’s license, and that Secret Service agents were on the helicopter with Clinton. This is how she described one of the dinners:
“I’d have been about 17 at the time, she says. I flew to the Caribbean with Jeffrey and then Ghislaine Maxwell went to pick up Bill [Clinton] in a huge black helicopter that Jeffrey had bought for her.
She’s always wanted to fly and Jeffrey paid for her to take lessons, and I remember she was very excited because she got her license around the first year we met.
I used to get frightened flying with her but Bill had the Secret Service with him and I remember him talking about what a good job she did.
We all dined together that night. Jeffrey was at the head of the table. Bill was at his left, and I sat across from him. Emmy Tayler, Ghislaine’s blonde British assistant, sat at my right. Ghislaine was at Bill’s left and at the left of Ghislaine there were two olive-skinned brunettes who’s flown in with us from New York.
I’d never met them before. I’d say they were no older than 17, very innocent-looking.”
Secret Service records establish that Bill Clinton was never on Jeffrey Epstein’s island. President Clinton has confirmed this fact. The Secret Service would never have permitted Clinton to fly in a helicopter with a novice pilot. Another lie for money? Let’s see what The New Yorker writes about that.
If The New Yorker does include these provable lies, -- my Accuser falsely claiming to have met prominent people -- they will be showing reckless disregard for the truth, because the key issue is whether she was lying when she said she met me!
(c) My Accuser told many people about the men she claimed to have sex with. The people she told included her best friend Rebecca, her boyfriend and the FBI. She never included me among the people with whom she said she had sex, until after she met David Boies.
(d) My Accuser has an email exchange with a journalist and a book manuscript both currently under seal, that conclusively prove in her own words that she never had sex with me. Although these documents are under seal, my opponents have unlawfully broken the seal and given them to The New Yorker. The New Yorker has read me selected portions of these smoking gun documents – portions that fail to disclose the whole truth. The New Yorker is obligated to publish the entirety of these documents that prove that my Accuser has implicitly acknowledged that she never had any sexual contact with me.
(e) I have provided The New Yorker with transcripts of recordings in which David Boies acknowledges that it would have been “impossible” for me to have been in the places Roberts claims to have met me and that Roberts is “wrong… simply wrong,” in accusing me. The actual tapes were played for Bruck. And although she claimed they were hard to hear, they were clear enough for others who listened to the tape. [Editor’s note: Boies has denied he ever acknowledged he did not believe his client’s claims.] . (f) The New Yorker has employment records that prove that the Accuser repeatedly lied under oath, falsely claiming that she was 15 when she met Epstein. She was at least 17.
(g) The Accuser never accused me of anything improper before she met David Boies in 2014. David Boies’ fictitious claim that I had sex with a woman I never even met is reminiscent of a similar claim by Michael Avenatti in the Kavanaugh hearings.
(2) The New Yorker is aware that my Second Accuser, who falsely claims to have participated in a threesome with me when she was 22 years old and who also falsely claims that I was her lawyer, wrote dozens of mendacious emails to a New York Post reporter in the months before the 2016 election. Boies was aware of these emails in which the Second Accuser claims that she has in her possession sex tapes of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Richard Branson. The Post reporter did not believe her. She also claims in these emails to have had sex with numerous people, but she does not include me among them. Like the first Accuser, she only began to accuse me after she met David Boies. There is an insidious pattern here. The women first indicate they never had sex with me; then they meet Boies. Then they suddenly “remember” they had sex with me. Boies must know that both Accusers cannot be believed and that they made up the stories about me in the hope of getting money (which they got). Yet, he submitted their false affidavits, vouching for their credibility without disclosing to the courts their documented history of lying about prominent people.
(3) Boies must also be aware that an employee of Epstein’s , who claims to have seen me in his New York house, left his employ months before I ever met Jeffrey Epstein and many months before I was ever in Epstein’s New York home. Her statement is a complete fabrication, as proved by her own chronology.
(4) Your fact checker told me that you may write that Epstein’s “houseman” has implied that I was in Epstein’s Palm Beach home at the same time as young women were there. I have sent you his actual affidavit in which he says the following:
“At the time, I understood that Mr. Dershowitz was a famous lawyer. His visits to the house would typically involve a group of intellectuals or business men in social, but professional type gatherings.
I never saw Mr. Dershowitz do anything improper or be present while anyone else was being improper. …
I never saw [Accuser] at the house when Mr. Dershowitz was there.
If The New Yorker fails to publish these statements from Mr. Alessi’s affidavit, it will show a reckless disregard for the truth.
(5) The New Yorker must know that there is absolutely, categorically, no evidence that I was ever in the same place as my Accusers or that I had any sexual contact with them. The New Yorker must also know that in addition to the absence of any evidence against me, there is overwhelming indisputable evidence that I could not and did not commit the acts of which I am accused. There is no other “#MeToo” case in which there is no corroborating evidence the accused and accuser ever met and the accused has overwhelming evidence that they did not.
In light of the absence of any evidence against me and the presence of massive evidence in my favor, how does The New Yorker suggest a totally innocent man like me prove his innocence to a hostile reporter writing for a hostile magazine?
What more could I realistically do to overcome the irrefutable presumption of guilt that The New Yorker seems to be operating under in my case? Apparently The New Yorker believes that the crimes of which I have been falsely accused are so heinous that even total innocence is not a defense!
(6) In all three instances, my false Accusers have refused to make their accusations to the media on the record. They have made them only in court papers, hiding behind the litigation privilege, which precludes defamation suits for false statements. This is a tactic developed and employed by David Boies to prevent any legal accountability for false accusations. The New Yorker must publish the fact that my accusers have refused to go on the record (or presumably off the record) with The New Yorker or any other publication in accusing me. If it repeats these false accusations, without confronting the accusers directly, The New Yorker will have done precisely what judges and others have condemned: namely using the judicial process as both a sword and a shield for false accusations.
(7) In a recent issue of The New Yorker, Jane Mayer analyzed the case against Al Franken. Although the evidence against him is far stronger (though for a lesser accusation) than the evidence against me (which is non-existent), the positive approach taken by The New Yorker to Franken is completely and dramatically at odds with the negative approach taken toward me.
Mayer interviewed Franken’s friends while Bruck interviewed my enemies. Mayer challenged Franken’s accusers, while Bruck quoted my accusers uncritically without even interviewing them. Bruck could have interviewed many more people before completing her reporting, in order to get a fuller, more accurate and more balanced portrayal of me and my life. These include: Long time and close friends who would describe how I had helped them and their children. They would give you an honest description of my character and multiple reasons why I never could or would do what I am accused of. They and my family would tell you that I have always lived my life as though nothing is a secret and cautioned them to do the same.
My speaker agency and local hosts of the hundreds of speeches I have given around the world who would have told you that they have never received any complaints of inappropriate behavior. I do not hug or touch inappropriately.
My secretaries, research assistants and colleagues with whom I shared close proximity in my office at Harvard who would tell you that I have never met with students with the door closed and always treated all students with respect and appropriateness.
Students, male and female, who would describe how taking my classes and being advised by me influenced them and changed their lives and their professional ambitions for the better. You could describe how my student evaluations always fell at the two extremes: some students – who disagree with my Socratic teaching style – giving me very low ratings, while the majority of students gave me very high ratings. You shouldn’t just interview the students who did not like my tough teaching methods. You could get a variety of opinions on whether I spent an unusual amount of time teaching rape and surely find that most students did not share that opinion. You could cite from my articles and books on which I write about the challenge, required sensitivity and thought needed in teaching rape.
You could interview others who have been on the Martha’s Vineyard nude beach with my wife and me and find out that it has a tradition of occasional skinny dipping by people of all shapes and sizes, including judges, doctors, professors and political activists.
The article on Franken criticizes the fact that nobody fact checked his accuser. (p. 20) And much time is spent discussing the context in which his behavior occurred as a way of explaining it. His accusers are appropriately critiqued. Have you done any fact checking on my false accusers? Have you even tried to interview them?
This double standard journalism should be evident to all readers. If The New Yorker applied the same evidentiary standards to my case as it did to Franken, it would have to conclude I was absolutely innocent. Why it has apparently chosen to apply a different standard is a question every reader should ask.
(8) You have received, and are in the process of receiving, documentation and information that completely rebuts falsehoods that your fact checkers told me you intend to publish. These materials relate to my personal life, my family, my first marriage that ended 45 years ago, my divorce, an alleged abortion that never occurred, my teaching career and other biographical data. If you fail to include the material that disproves this false gossip, you will not only be showing insensitivity to my family but also reckless regard for the whole truth.
(9) In light of the disparity in standards between the positive Franken article and elements in the hit piece against me, I formally asked The New Yorker to allow me a 500-word box accompanying your article that would allow me to make my case concisely. You have refused to do so claiming that it is not your policy. But based on what I understand you plan to publish, you have violated your policies in numerous ways in your article about me, out of a desire to silence my voice on issues – Trump, Netanyahu and Israel – on which we disagree, but on which you agree with Franken. Apparently innocence is a defense only for those who agree with The New Yorker’s politics.
In the Franken article you make a point of emphasizing the political and other motivations of Franken’s accusers. Yet in the article about me you seem set to ignore the motivations – financial, revenge, political – of my false accusers and their lawyers, as well as of my enemies you quote. You also fail to disclose the biased motivations of your write and editor, which should be clear to anyone who reads the Franken article side by side with the one about me and sees the opposite standards and criteria that govern the two articles.
Will you describe that I am a controversial figure who gets lots of hate mail, that my controversial opinions in the past and especially currently have created an atmosphere in which I am frequently criticized and even shunned by former friends, and that this could certainly influence some people’s willingness and even desire to believe or say negative things about me? Will you caution against the dangers of politicizing accusations against people with controversial opinions?
Will you just portray me as someone who defends accused rapists, without putting that into a broader context of my being a criminal lawyer who takes unpopular cases and causes? You could list my other cases in which I have defended women wrongly accused. You could mention my helping students who were being sexually harassed.
The sympathetic Franken story includes his and others quotes supportive of due process and encouraging caution against the “internet fueled rage”: “’Believe women’ has become a credo of the #MeToo movement.” (p.4) “You can’t rush to judgment. You ruin people’s lives.” (p. 36) “We needed more facts. That due process didn’t happen is not good for our democracy.” (p. 6) “The idea that anybody who accuses someone of something is always right – that’s not the case. That isn’t reality.” (p. 38) Will you include such sympathetic quotes in your article on me? If not, why not?
The Franken article ends with a warning against exactly what you are doing in your article on me. “To treat all allegations the same is not only inappropriate…” “It feeds into a backlash narrative that men are vulnerable to even frivolous allegations by women.” (p. 39)
Finally, a word to my readers: if you read The New Yorker article, please compare it to this letter and see what they included and excluded. Please also ask yourselves how you and your family would feel if you were falsely accused with no evidence of horrible crimes of which you were entirely innocent.
Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of "Trumped Up, How Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy." Read more reports from Alan M. Dershowitz – Click Here Now.
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