Like a lot of outlets, the BBC brought on legal analysts to discuss the guilty verdicts of Ghislaine Maxwell. Unlike a lot of outlets, the BBC invited attorney Alan Dershowitz to discuss the case—without disclosing Dershowitz's own deep ties to it, reports Mediaite. Not only was Dershowitz a former attorney for Jeffrey Epstein, but he has been accused of sexual abuse himself by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, the woman who has similarly accused Prince Andrew. Dershowitz and Giuffre are currently locked in legal fights over her accusations, none of which was mentioned when Dershowitz appeared on the network identified only as a "constitutional lawyer." The network has since apologized after furious criticism, notes the Guardian.
The interview "did not meet the BBC’s 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," says the BBC statement. "We will look into how this happened." During the interview, Dershowitz attacked the credibility of Giuffre and noted she was not called as a witness in the Maxwell case. The BBC presenter did not challenge him or point out his conflict of interest. "Shocked," tweeted human rights lawyer Caoilfhionn Gallagher in a typical reaction. "Utterly bizarre decision & does the audience a disservice." (What's next in the Maxwell saga.)