The American lawyer accused of having sex with an underage girl in the case that also names Prince Andrew has begun legal action to clear his name.
Alan Dershowitz, 76, filed court papers in Florida – where the case against financier Jeffery Epstein is being heard – contesting what he describes as “absolutely outrageous claims”.
The successful lawyer, who represented a number of high-profile clients including OJ Simpson, appeared on US television show Today yesterday claiming he did not know the alleged victim Jane Doe #3, now named as Virginia Roberts, now 30.
“I don't even know who she is,” he said of Ms Roberts. “I've never seen her. I've never met her. I don't know who she is.”
Mr Dershowitz, a former Harvard law professor, has asked for his name to be removed from documents which allege that he and Prince Andrew of sexual relations with Ms Roberts, who was under the US age of consent at the time of the alleged assaults.
Prior to filing the papers, Mr Dershowitz told the BBC: "My goal is to bring charges against the client and require her to speak in court. If she believes she has been hurt by me and Prince Andrew, she should be suing us for damages.
Prince Andrew: Life in pictures
Prince Andrew: Life in pictures
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Prince Andrew, Duke of York arrives at the Royal Albert Hall on 8 November 2014 in London
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Prince Andrew, the Duke of York (L) speaks to Queen Elizabeth II on the Queens stand during Derby day at the Epsom Derby Festival, in Surrey on 1 June 2013
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Prince Andrew with his daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice on the Balcony at Buckingham Palace, 2013
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Princess Beatrice (C) poses for photograph with her parents, Britain's Prince Andrew, the Duke York (L) and Sarah Ferguson following her graduation ceremony at Goldsmiths College, in London, 2011
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Prince Andrew’s ‘pointless plunge’ down the Shard was the moment to take stock of his usefulness
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Prince Andrew is the first royal to take and tweet a selfie
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Prince Andrew with Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Al-Khalifa at Royal Ascot in 2010
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Prince Andrew with Ilham Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan in 2009
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Prince Andrew with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on the first day of his state visit to London
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Duke of York in his uniform
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Britain's Prince Andrew speaks to the press during a meeting with Turkish Businessmen at Ciragan Palace in Istanbul on 26 May 2004
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Wearing a traditional Guatemalan ceremonial jacket, Britains Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, turns on the tap innaugurating an irrigation system sponsored by the European community on 7 March 2002 in Nevaj, Guatemala
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The newly wed Prince Andrew, the Duke of York and his wife Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, wave to crowds on 23 July 1986 from the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London while Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Mother look on
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Prince Andrew and Prince Edward with their governess, Lavinia Keppel, at the Children's Book Show in Westminster, London on 7 November 1969
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Prince Andrew (bottom left) with his parents Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip and siblings, Prince Charles, Princess Anne, and little Prince Edward at Windsor Castle, 1965
"I welcome that lawsuit. I welcome any opportunity that would put her under oath and require her to state under oath these false allegations."
Ms Roberts and her lawyers, Brad Edwards and Paul Cassell, challenged Mr Dershowitz to produce evidence contesting their story.
The claims made against Mr Dershowitz involving the Duke of York originate from a case against convicted sex offender billionaire Epstein.
The former teacher-turned-financier is accused in a US lawsuit of sex trafficking and providing girls for the rich and powerful – among them , according to a motion filed on behalf of Ms Roberts, the Prince.
Buckingham Palace has consistently denied the Prince had any sexual relationship with then teenage Ms Roberts between 1999 and 2002.Reuse content