A BBC News interview with an attorney charged with sexually abusing a minor following the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell “did not meet the BBC’s editorial standards,” the company said.
The station was inundated with complaints about the interview with Alan Dershowitz, which aired on BBC News shortly after Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking in a New York court on Wednesday.
Dershowitz, who was previously Jeffrey Epstein’s attorney, was charged with sexual abuse by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who made similar claims against Prince Andrew. Both men deny the allegations.
In an interview on the BBC News on Wednesday, Dershowitz was only introduced as a “constitutional attorney”. He was then allowed to attack Giuffre’s credibility without the moderator challenging him.
A BBC spokesman said Thursday that Dershowitz was “not a suitable person to be interviewed as an impartial analyst, and we have not made the relevant background clear to our audience. We’ll look into how that happened. “
In the interview, Dershowitz congratulated the prosecutor on the Maxwell case for not naming Giuffre as a witness “because ultimately they did not believe she was telling the truth and they believed that a jury would not believe her and they were right” . So”.
The BBC failed to mention that Dershowitz and Giuffre are involved in legal proceedings for the veracity of their claims that he was part of a group of powerful men whom Epstein offered them for sex.
She sued him for libel after he called her a liar, and he sued for making false claims about him in order to extort money from a far more affluent member of Epstein’s circle.
Labor MP Nadia Whittome tweeted: “Alan Dershowitz, charged with the same crimes as Prince Andrew, is trying on the BBC to silence victims following the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell. I can’t believe that needs to be said, but the BBC shouldn’t provide a platform to those accused of child sexual abuse. “
She added, “We have a responsibility to believe people when they expose sexual abuse and to create the conditions under which they can at all. All details of Epstein’s network should be made public and justice will be brought to all victims / survivors. That is clearly the tip of the iceberg. “
Sarah Churchwell, an American professor of literature from the University of London, tweeted, “People took this thread as an adversary to beat up the BBC, so let me make it clear that I am a fan and beneficiary of brilliant people at @BBCNews. But that – Dershowitz as a ‘constitutional attorney’ without explaining his blatant conflicts of interest – is not okay. “
Adam Wagner, a human rights attorney, said the interview was a “big mistake by the BBC” and all the company had to do was search Dershowitz’s name on Google to see that he was not an appropriate guest.
Coroner and human rights attorney Caoilfhionn Gallagher said she was “shocked” and described the decision to interview him as “completely bizarre.”
The BBC statement reads: “The interview with Alan Dershowitz following the Ghislaine Maxwell judgment did not meet the BBC’s editorial standards as Mr Dershowitz was not the appropriate person to be interviewed as an impartial analyst and we did not understand the relevant background have audience. We’ll look into how that happened. “