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BBC faces blowback after Dershowitz appears as Maxwell trial analyst

The BBC received widespread criticism on Wednesday after it brought on Alan Dershowitz, the former attorney to Jeffrey Epstein and an accused sexual abuser, to discuss the conviction of Ghislaine Maxwell without disclosing his links to her case. 

Dershowitz argued that the conviction of Maxwell, who was found guilty on five counts, “actually weakened” the case against Prince Andrew, who is facing a lawsuit in the U.S. over claims of sexual abuse by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre.

Dershowitz is also facing a lawsuit from Giuffre in the Southern District of New York. Giuffre has accused Dershowitz of taking part in the sex trafficking of children as part of Epstein and Maxwell’s network. 

The high-profile American attorney was able to get a non-prosecution agreement for Epstein after he was arrested in 2006, resulting in the the convicted sex offender avoiding a lengthy prison term.

Online commentators swiftly lambasted the BBC for having an accused sexual abuser and former lawyer to Epstein on as an expert, as well as failing to disclose the clear conflict of interest during the segment. 

One of the most shocking things the BBC has done in years. Unbelievable,” MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan wrote.

Nadia Whittome, a member of the British Parliament, wrote, “I can’t believe this needs to be said but the BBC should not give a platform to people accused of child sexual abuse.”

“We have a responsibility to believe people when they disclose sexual abuse and to create conditions in which they can in the first place,” added Whittome.

On Thursday, the BBC released a statement responding to the backlash and saying it was reviewing Dershowitz’s appearance. 

“Last night’s interview with Alan Dershowitz after the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict 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. We will look into how this happened,” the BBC said.

On Wednesday, a Manhattan jury unanimously found Maxwell, 60, guilty on five of six counts against her, including enticing a minor to travel in order to engage in sex acts.

Maxwell faces potentially decades to life in prison, with the minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for sex trafficking a child between the ages of 14 and 17.

Tags Alan Dershowitz Alan Dershowitz BBC Ghislaine Maxwell Jeffrey Epstein Prince Andrew, Duke of York Sexual abuse Virginia Giuffre

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