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Judge drops Dershowitz from lawsuit involving ‘lurid’ allegations

A judge has dropped Alan M. Dershowitz, the Harvard Law School emeritus professor, from the legal proceedings in Florida in which a woman named him as one of several men with whom she had sex as a minor.

Dershowitz has vehemently denied the allegations, calling them “categorically false.”

Despite the judge’s decision, he has vowed to pursue a defamation lawsuit he brought against the woman’s lawyers for filing the allegations in court.

“This is great news because it means I am legally vindicated,” Dershowitz said by phone on Tuesday, after the ruling was released. “I will be factually vindicated in the defamation lawsuit.”


In his 10-page ruling, US District Court Judge Kenneth A. Marra described the allegations as “lurid” and “immaterial and impertinent” to the underlying lawsuit. He ordered them stricken from the case.

Dershowitz’s name surfaced in December after two lawyers, Bradley J. Edwards of Florida and Paul G. Cassell of Utah, filed a motion in a long-running civil case involving one of Dershowitz’s former legal clients.

The motion asked the judge to allow the addition of two plaintiffs to the suit. That suit challenges the propriety of a 2008 agreement by prosecutors that permitted billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein to plead guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution and serve about a year in prison. Dershowitz represented Epstein at the time.

The two women Edwards and Cassell wanted to add as plaintiffs to the lawsuit claim they were minors when Epstein forced them to have sex with him and others.

In their filing, the lawyers said one of the women, identified as Jane Doe No. 3, asserts that Dershowitz was one of the men Epstein forced her to have sex with, in New York, New Mexico, Florida, on a Caribbean island owned by Epstein, and on Epstein’s private plane. The woman later filed an affidavit containing the allegations.


In his ruling, Marra denied the request that the two women be added as plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Marra did hold out the possibility of the women being called as witnesses in the suit. Edwards and Cassell released a statement on Tuesday saying they were “pleased” the women may be called as witnesses.

Dershowitz said Tuesday he expects to question the woman making the allegations under oath in the defamation lawsuit.

Sean P. Murphy can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @spmurphyboston.