Alan Dershowitz v. ‘The Good Fight’: “Shyster Is a Cheap Shot”, Report

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Alan Dershowitz v. 'The Good Fight':
Alan Dershowitz v. 'The Good Fight': "Shyster Is a Cheap Shot", Report

According to Variety, attorney Alan Dershowitz has demanded an apology and a retraction from CBS All Access’s The Good Fight over a character’s remark about him in relation to Jeffrey Epstein in the show’s season-four finale, “The Gang Discovers Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein.” In the episode, which aired May 27, fictional lawyer Benjamin Dafoe, played by actor David Alford, references working for Epstein, claiming to be the late convicted sex offender’s legal representation before Alan Dershowitz: “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.”

In a letter sent to the network and Good Fight showrunners Robert King and Michelle King, among others, on July 17, Dershowitz’s attorney Imran H. Ansari accuses the episode, which blends facts about Jeffrey Epstein’s criminal history with the show’s fictional storyline, of defaming him.

“Clearly, the dialogue and the context in which it is made, with words loaded with innuendo such as ‘massage,’ ‘Epstein,’ the ‘Virgin Islands,’ in combination with the word ‘shyster,’ falsely suggests that Professor Dershowitz engaged in sexual conduct, i.e., a ‘massage,’ with an underage girl associated with Epstein, and is crooked, unscrupulous, and lying about it, i.e. a ‘shyster,’” the letter reads. Ansari demands the show “promptly retract the defamatory content, cease and desist from further airing the defamatory content, and issue a public apology to Professor Dershowitz.” If not, Dershowitz tells Variety, he will “see them in court.”

A response sent on July 28 by ViacomCBS general counsel Jonathan Anschell, however, suggests an apology is not forthcoming. “Benjamin Dafoe is not a real lawyer; on the Series, he’s Epstein’s ‘fictitious prior lawyer,’ as your letter acknowledges. In other words, as one might explain to a small child, the Series, its characters, and the things they say are all make-believe. People don’t watch the Series for factual information about Professor Dershowitz or anyone else.” You can read both letters in full here.

In an interview on Miami’s WPLG-TV in April 2019, Dershowitz did admit to receiving a massage from a woman at Epstein’s mansion, but said the masseuse was an older woman, and that he “kept his underwear on.” Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre has alleged she was forced to have sex with Dershowitz while underage, an accusation that he has denied.

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