Alan Dershowitz, Your Life Is Calling!
Why is Alan Dershowitz still talking? If he were your grandfather, you'd rush in with scissors and a calendar, shouting, "Poppy, look! It's 2019, not 1999. Doctor Finkelstein has scheduled a CT scan for this afternoon, so how 'bout we just cut this router cord right here until we know what's wrong with your brain, okay?" Instead Dersh is actually out there on Twitter right now arguing that a 15-year-old girl is old enough to consent to sex with a man of any age.
Dershowitz seems to have been set off by Connie Bruck's New Yorker profile which dropped yesterday, entitled "Shit Dersh Said: Five Decades of Craycray." Okay, not really, but it might as well have been.
Here he is in 1973, defending the right of Cape Cod skinnydippers to sunburn their bits at Brush Hollow, a beach about a mile south of Ballston. And no, we did not make that up! Take it away, Cape Cod Times:
Just control the parking and all problems would be eliminated, Dershowitz told a Cape Cod Times reporter in summer 1975. If, instead of nudists, "there were black people congregating on that beach, no one would dare ban black people there. They'd just solve the related problems," he said.
Because everyone knows black people are allowed to park anywhere, we guess?
Here's your favorite Harvard Law professor and part-time Penthouse columnist in 1980, showing up at a dorm for a screening of the pornographic film "Deep Throat." Female residents protested being "subjected to abuse and degradation right in our own living room," particularly since the film's star Linda Lovelace had just published a memoir claiming to have been coerced to perform at gunpoint.
"Feminist fascists are no better than any other kinds of fascists," Dersh scoffed. How dare these women impede the sacred right of a college professor to watch porn with undergrads in the common area of the dorm? Have they never heard of the First Amendment?
In fact, Dershowitz's sacred right to discuss rape at any and all times was one he guarded fiercely. One student told the New Yorker, "He had convoluted ways of thinking about how men could misinterpret lack of consent. And it wasn't relegated to when we were speaking about a rape case. Wherever we were on the syllabus, he would bring it up." Here's one of his fun exam questions from 1991 about a slutty gal who picks up men a lot and gets raped but decides not to press charges because it turns out the rapist was sterile.
(To be fair, there were a lot of pervy male law professors in the '90s. My husband's CrimLaw exam involved sodomy, both consensual and coerced, and a victim who "looked 17, but was actually 14." Those were the days!)
In 1985, Dersh told the Gainesville Sun that a john "who occasionally seeks to taste the forbidden fruit of sex for hire" shouldn't have his life ruined, but, as he explained to his students, "Prostitutes know what they're doing—they should be prosecuted."
And in 1992 he penned an LA Times op-ed entitled "Statutory Rape Is an Outdated Concept," arguing that a teenager old enough to decide to have an abortion is plenty old enough to consent to sex.
Moreover, puberty is apparently arriving earlier, particularly among some ethnic groups. Based on the demographic criteria, the age of consent should be lowered. It certainly should not be as high as 17 or 16. Reasonable people can disagree over whether it should be as low as 14. Fifteen would seem like an appropriate compromise. Perhaps there should be staircasing below 15, with the penalty increasing inversely with the age of the victim.
OR PERHAPS NOT.
It's this article that Dershowitz was arguing about last night. Because it is apparently ILLEGAL to say something like, "Well, that was a different time. Developmental psychologists have made great strides in the past 30 years, and I wouldn't take that position now." Nope, he's sticking to his guns.
Let the record reflect that the witness was in no wise arguing for "Romeo and Juliet exceptions" back in 1992. He said then that 14 year old girls -- okay, 15, because Dersh is a reasonable man -- were a bunch of hussies screwing anything that moved and having abortions right and left, so they could damn well consent to sex with a man of any age. A position which will no doubt garner him many invitations to dangle his bits in the hollandaise this summer on the Cape.
Okay, just one more! To commemorate the 1991 murder of feminist law professor Mary Joe Frug, the satirical Harvard Revue published a spoof -- on the anniversary of her murder -- of her posthumous work "A Postmodern Feminist Legal Manifesto." The spoof, "He-Manifesto of Post-Mortem Legal Feminism," was supposedly "pieced together from scraps dictated to Eve XX, a telekinetic feminist, from beyond the grave." Get it? See, it's funny because a lady professor wrote about feminism like it's a serious topic, and then she got stabbed to death. Plus, her husband Gerald Frug was a professor at Harvard Law, which makes it even funnier.
Or not. The student authors were roundly pilloried, but Dersh stuck up for them in an LA Times op-ed, saying:
The overreaction to the spoof is a reflection of the power of women and blacks to define the content of what is politically correct and incorrect on college and law school campuses ... Radical feminists can accuse all men of being rapists, and radical African-Americans can accuse all whites of being racists, without fear of discipline or rebuke.
Wow, Dersh has a lot of #Thoughts on ladies and blacks, huh? And that's all before we get to the part about him getting serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein that sweetheart plea deal in Florida back in 2008. Epstein has been re-arrested in New York, where he's being held without bail. But the Florida victims are suing to have the 2008 deal overturned based on an allegation by Virginia Roberts Giuffre that she had sex with Alan Dershowitz, and thus he was conflicted out of negotiating on Epstein's behalf.
A rational human being would say, "I'm bound by attorney-client privilege and can't discuss representation of any former clients." He'd say, "I categorically deny ever engaging in any inappropriate sexual contact, although I can't speak further due to pending litigation." But Alan Dershowitz is not a rational man, so he's waged a whirlwind media campaign to prove that he could't possibly have had sex with Giuffre because he was far too busy having "perfect, perfect sex" with his lawfully wedded wife. And if the underpants don't fit, you must acquit. (Dersh repped OJ, of course, and also Mike Tyson in that rape trial.)
Dershowitz accused superlawyer David Boies of conspiring with Giuffre to destroy him as part of a larger plot to extort money from billionaire Les Wexner. He secretly recorded conversations with witnesses and attorneys, releasing highly edited snippets to the media. And he presented an elaborate defense that contained several easily disprovable lies.
For instance, he claimed that Giuffre stated in her unpublished manuscript that she'd never had sex with Dershowitz. She hadn't. He claimed that Robert Josefsberg, then a lawyer in the Miami US Attorney's office, told him Giuffre had never named Dershowitz as one of the men she'd had sex with at Epstein's behest. Only Josefsberg told the New Yorker, "I have never told Alan Dershowitz—or anyone else—what this client or any other client has told me. He is wrong." And he claimed that he "never got a massage from anybody" at Jeffrey Epstein's house, but later revised his story to include a massage "from a 50-year-old Russian woman named Olga. And I kept my shorts on. I didn't even like it." Mistakes ... were made.
But his biggest tactical error was to aggressively attack Giuffre, a child sexual abuse survivor, calling her a "serial liar," a "prostitute," and a "bad mother." In Dersh-land, where it's always 1968, calling the victim a slut is a great legal move, guaranteed to shut those lyin' bitches up. Here in 2019, however, it made the story front-page news for weeks, further destroying the reputation which Dershowitz was desperately trying to save. Worse, it pissed Giuffre off so thoroughly that she sued him for defamation, which will involve discovery and the likely disclosure of previously sealed court documents from a case against Epstein's accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell.
"The 'bad mom' thing actually hurt the worst," Giuffre told Bruck. "I love my children more than I love my own life."
Hey, Dersh, you know what people always say about a man who represents himself? They're 100 percent right.
Follow Liz (AKA your FDF) on Twitter!
Please click here to keep your Wonkette snarkin'!
Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.