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The BBC is set to investigate itself over over the decision to interview Alan Dershowitz — Jeffrey Epstein’s former lawyer and someone who is himself facing accusations of sexual abuse of a minor — immediately following Ghislaine Maxwell’s guilty verdict.
Dershowitz spoke on BBC News about the trial Wednesday night, but was only introduced by the broadcaster as a “lawyer” without any context about his connections to Epstein or references to the sexual abuse accusations against himself. He used his time on air to claim that cases against both himself and Prince Andrew had been weakened because prosecutors in the Maxwell trial failed to call their accuser — Virginia Giuffre — as a witness. Dershowitz and Prince Andrew both deny Giuffre’s claims.
His appearance sparked widespread outrage on social media, with the BBC coming under heavy fire for putting Dershowitz forward as an impartial commentator on a case in which he’s personally implicated. The criticism eventually led to the BBC making a statement acknowledging that the decision did not meet its “editorial standards” and saying it would investigate why Dershowitz was interviewed.
“Last night’s interview with Alan Dershowitz after the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict did not meet our editorial standards, as Mr. Dershowitz was not a suitable person to interview as an impartial analyst, and we did not make the relevant background clear to our audience,” it said. “We will look into how this happened.”
The BBC very recently was criticized for interviewing a relative of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet immediately following the country’s election and earlier this year for introducing Stanley Johnson, the father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as an “environmentalist” on its flagship politics show Newsnight to discuss the climate crisis.
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