Talk about your legalistic argle-bargle: The Prince Andrew “sex-slave” case is becoming a matter of dueling defamation lawsuits between the lawyers, at least in the U.S.
Harvard Law’s formidable Alan Dershowitz is named with the Duke of York in a Florida lawsuit, accused of having sex with an underage girl who claims she was a 17-year-old “sex slave” hired to service them and other rich and famous friends of Jeffrey Epstein, an American multi-millionaire financier and convicted sex offender.
(Dershowitz was once Epstein’s lawyer.)
In the U.K., this is a royal mess, a huge embarrassment to the royal family and to Andrew, already sullied by his long-standing friendship with Epstein. (Andrew is the second son of the Queen and fifth-in-line to the throne.)
But over here, it’s developing into a legal side show about the lawyers in the case.
Dershowitz is denying the allegations from the rooftops, and not just that: He’s gone to court to claim he’s he’s been defamed, demanding the allegations against him be dismissed as lies, and vowing to get the lawyers on the other side disbarred for “abuse” of the legal system.
He’s been especially harsh about the accuser, an American named Virginia Roberts, now 31, whom he’s labeled a “serial liar” whose credibility is worthless, according to a declaration he filed in a Florida court on Monday.
“(Roberts) knows that the charges she has leveled against me are totally false and she has alleged them with complete knowledge of their falsity,” Dershowitz said in his filing. “I believe and allege that her lawyers, Brad Edwards and Paul Cassell, also knew or could have easily learned, that I could not have done and did not do any of the heinous things they allege I did.”
He also has urged Andrew to follow his example and file a defamation lawsuit against his accuser. So far, Andrew hasn’t done that. But Buckingham Palace has issued three emphatic statements on his behalf denying that he ever had sex with an underage girl.
Roberts’ lawyers, Florida’s Edwards and Utah’s Cassell, a former federal judge, are striking back at Dershowitz, filing a lawsuit in Broward County on Tuesday against the famed attorney, accusing him of libel and slander, according to court records.
They assert that Dershowitz’s media blitz over the last few days, in which he railed against them on CNN and other news programs, amounted to “character assassination.”
“(He) initiated a massive public media assault on the reputation and character of (Edwards and Cassell),” they wrote. “(His) statements were false and known by him to be false at the time they were made.”
An ABC affiliate in Utah reported some more details.
What does all this mean to any of the parties in the “sex-slave” case? Unclear but maybe not much.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in one of his many exasperated dissents, once dismissed the majority’s arguments in a case (over sodomy) as “legalistic argle-bargle,” thus reviving an ancient Scottish term for…foolish bickering.