“We’re confident that no viewer would conclude that Professor Dershowitz is a shyster based on one line of opinion from a fictional character on the Series, as opposed to the real-life, factual publications that have called him exactly that,” Anschell wrote.
Dershowitz noted that legal issues stemming from a blend of fact and fiction are also the crux of the lawsuit filed in March by former Manhattan prosecutor Linda Fairstein against Netflix over her depiction in the 2019 limited series “When They See Us,” about the wrongful convictions of five Black men who became known as the Central Park Five.
Dershowitz said he will take his battle against “Good Fight” to court if ViacomCBS continues to balk at his demand for an apology and a retraction, even though he is generally a fan of the stylish drama revolving around legal eagles in Chicago. “My family and I have watched it and enjoyed it,” he said.
Dershowitz has come in for strong criticism for his association with Epstein, who faced horrifying allegations that he was a serial predator of underage girls. Dershowitz has been sued by an Epstein victim who has accused him of sexual misconduct, which he has vehemently denied. Last November, Dershowitz countersued Virginia Giuffre, saying her claims had caused him “severe emotional distress.”
Dershowitz vowed to press his case against ViacomCBS and “Good Fight” as a matter of principle.
“I’m an honest and honorable lawyer who represents controversial clients that people don’t like,” Dershowitz said. “Nobody’s going to call me a shyster and get away with it. If the people at CBS are decent people they will issue an apology and withdraw the episode or that part of the episode. If they don’t I’ll see them in court.”
Here is the full letter from Dershowitz’s lawyer and ViacomCBS’ response:
Dear Sir or Madam: Please be advised that this firm is litigation counsel for Alan Dershowitz (“Professor Dershowitz”). We have been retained to address defamatory statements made during an episode of CBS All Access’ The Good Fight, titled “The Gang Discovers Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein,” which originally aired on May 28, 2020 (Season 4, Episode 7). Professor Dershowitz requests that CBS promptly retract the defamatory content, and issue a public apology to Professor Dershowitz.
In the episode, a character intended to be Jeffrey Epstein’s fictious prior attorney “Benjamin Dafoe” played by actor David Alford, makes the following statement:
“Probably about the time he ditched me for Dershowitz. At least I didn’t get a massage, like that shyster. And for the purposes of any potential lawsuit shyster is just my opinion not a statement of fact.”
The statement, in whole and in part, is tortious and constitutes both defamation per se and defamation by implication. The episode in ... (Read more)
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