The BBC interview of Virginia Giuffre, which ran on the BBC and will soon be rebroadcast here, focuses on whether Prince Andrew has been truthful in denying her allegations of sexual misconduct. It does not focus on the credibility of his accuser — a woman with a long history of making up provably false stories about prominent men.
BBC did not ask her to explain her made up story about meeting Tipper and Al Gore on Jeffrey Epstein’s island. She described the meeting in great detail, especially how lovey-dovey the Gores were: “He only left his wife’s side to have a walk down the beach with [Epstein].”
The only problem with this first person account is that the Gores didn’t even know Epstein and were never on his island. She made up the entire story just as she made up the story of having dinner with President Bill Clinton and two underage girls. She said that Clinton had been flown to the island by Ghislaine Maxwell, who had just gotten her helicopter pilots license: “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.” Secret Service records prove that Clinton was never on Epstein’s island and that she made up this story as well.
She also made up the story about meeting and having sex with me. Her emails and manuscript prove, in her own words, that she never met me. Her own lawyer admitted, in conversations that I recorded and possess, that it would have been “impossible” for me to have been in the locations where she claimed to have met me.
She told the FBI and friends the names of the men she claimed to have sex with but never mentioned me. A thorough investigation by the former Director of the FBI established that her accusation against me was false and her lawyers withdrew it.
Significantly, she repeatedly did not tell the truth about how old she was when she met Epstein, initially claiming she was 14 and then 15.
But her own employment records prove that she was well over 17, which is the age of consent in most jurisdictions where she said she had sex.
These are just a few of the relevant falsehoods Prince Andrew’s accuser has told. My recently published book, "Guilt by Accusation: The Challenge of Proving Innocence in the Age of #MeToo," provides incontrovertible documentation of all of Giuffre’s numerous made up stories.
Yet the media has given her a pass and refused to challenge her credibility, despite the reality that all of her uncorroborated accusations — not only against the Prince and me, but against Ehud Barak, George Mitchell, Bill Richardson, Leslie Wexner, Marvin Minsky, and other prominent men — rest entirely on her credibility, or lack thereof.
Most of the media is terrified about the reaction they might receive from challenging a #MeToo accuser.
They have no problem challenging the credibility of an accused, as they have appropriately done with regard to Prince Andrew. But since the burden of proof is always on the accuser, the media should be at least as skeptical about the credibility of the accuser as they are about the credibility of the accused.
I don’t know what Prince Andrew did or didn’t do. What I do know is that because of Giuffre’s long history of making up false stories about prominent men, nothing she says should be believed without corroboration. Her word alone — her accusation — is worthless based on her failure to distinguish truth from fantasy.
To be sure, even liars sometimes tell the truth, but the word alone of a proven liar should never be enough to establish guilt or culpability either in the court of law or the court of public opinion.
That’s why the public has the right and the need to know all sides of an accusation, so it can compare the credibility of the accuser and accused. And that’s why the media fails in its responsibility to the public when it presents only one side of the story, challenging the credibility of the accused without equally challenging the credibility of the accuser.
So let the media investigate and report on Virginia Giuffre’s sordid history of making up stories about prominent people, while also investigating Prince Andrew and the other men, including me, she has accused. I, for one, welcome such an investigation, which I have repeatedly called for.
Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of "Guilt by Accusation" and "The Case Against the Democratic House Impeaching Trump." Read more reports from Alan M. Dershowitz – Click Here Now.
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