A defamation lawsuit filed against attorney Alan Dershowitz has surfaced fresh allegations against Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire pedophile accused of sex trafficking dozens of minors. According to court documents, Dershowitz knowingly participated in his client's crimes, securing Epstein a self-serving plea deal that helped cover them up.
For the unfamiliar, Epstein has been accused of enlisting dozens of underage women in an elaborate sexual pyramid scheme. During the mid-aughts, Epstein effectively turned his Florida home into a massage parlor staffed by teens he paid to provide sexual services. Epstein allegedly took some of these teens with him to his various homes across the country, where he'd make them have sex with his rich friends. (Although his association with Epstein has not translated into formal charges, President Donald Trump spent a lot of time partying with the billionaire, resulting in a mysterious, convoluted child rape lawsuit that has never gone anywhere. Former President Bill Clinton was also pals with Epstein.)
Thanks to an extremely lenient (and sealed) plea deal secured for him by a high-powered defense team, Epstein only served 13 months of an 18-month sentence in a country club jail, and had to register as a sex offender.
In recent months, focus has shifted back onto Epstein's crimes, after the Miami Herald publishing an exhaustive investigation rehashing a case that many believe the criminal justice system mishandled. On Tuesday, a woman named Maria Farmer filed a sworn affidavit in Manhattan federal court, alleging that in 1996, Epstein not only sexually assaulted her, but that he went after her then-15-year-old sister as well.
As a 26-year-old art student, Farmer says, she went to work for Epstein, helping him curate a personal collection. She also wound up doing door duty at his Upper East Side Mansion, according to the affidavit, and observed "a number of school-age girls coming to the home," who were "escorted upstairs" upon arrival. Farmer had been told that these visitors "were interviewing for modeling positions," an explanation that did not strike her as "credible." At some point, Epstein reportedly met Farmer's teenage sister, and flew her out to a New Mexico ranch. There, he and his British aristocrat buddy Ghislane Maxwell allegedly made her get naked and molested her. According to the court documents, the pair assaulted Farmer in Ohio.
The Miami Herald reports that Farmer reported Epstein and Maxwell to the NYPD and the FBI in 1996. Although the FBI interviewed her in 2006 or 2007, Farmer says, the agency ultimately failed to act.
"To my knowledge, I was the first person to report Maxwell and Epstein to the FBI," Farmer's affidavit reads. "It took a significant amount of bravery for me to make that call because I knew how incredibly powerful and influential both Epstein and Maxwell were, particularly in the art community."
Farmer's affidavit is one exhibit attached to a defamation suit Virgina Roberts Giuffre brought against Dershowitz. Giuffre says that in securing Epstein's aforementioned plea deal, a complicit Dershowitz also covered his own ass. According to Giuffre, Dershowitz—who has vehemently, publicly denied any involvement in his client's illegal activities—participated in Epstein's trafficking, and was "one of the men to whom Epstein lent [her] out for sex" when she was a minor. Still, Giuffre says, he has continued to discredit her: to brand the trafficking victims as "liars and prostitutes," to insist he was never at any of Epstein's homes when minors were, and to distance himself from his client.
In her affidavit, however, Farmer testifies to Dershowitz's presence for shady activities:
Dershowitz was very comfortable at [Epstein's Manhattan] home and would come in and walk upstairs. On a number of occasions I witnessed Dershowitz at the NY mansion going upstairs at the same time there were young girls under the age of 18 who were present upstairs in the house.
Dershowitz has adopted a "come at me" attitude when it comes to legal action, telling the NY Daily News that "this is the opportunity [he's] been looking for."
"This is not a gray area case—I never met this person," Dershowitz, who has argued that Giuffre mistook him for former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold, added. "She's made up the story from whole cloth. She's lied repeatedly and her lies will finally be exposed."
Giuffre, who was 16 at the time the alleged abuse occurred starting in 2000, maintains that she was made to have sex with Dershowitz, not Myhrvold. Another woman who accused Epstein and Maxwell of trafficking her, Sarah Ransome, has also named Dershowitz as one of the men Epstein forced her to service.
On top of all this, the Daily Beast reports that Epstein has quietly been running a charity—Gratitude America, Ltd.—that has funded, among other things, "an all-girls school in Manhattan, a youth tennis program," and "a nonprofit linked to the wife of a former Harvard president who flew on Epstein’s private jet, dubbed the 'Lolita Express' by the press." You can read all about his secret donations over at the Daily Beast.