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New Day

Billionaire Lawyer & Prince Accused in Sex Suit; AirAsia Search Continues; Police Turn Backs on de Blasio

Aired January 05, 2015 - 08:30   ET


ALAN DERSHOWTIZ, HARVARD LAW SCHOOL, EMERITUS PROFESSOR OF LAW: If they had just checked with me. If they had just checked the witnesses, they would know not to fire this kind of stink ball in court without checking. These lawyers will be disciplined. I am seeking their disbarment. And that's what ought to happen to them. No lawyer ought to be able to practice who makes these kind of accusations that are false and demonstrably and provably false without even the most minimum of checking.

ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So, Alan, to be clear, you have never met - you've never even met this woman, Virginia Roberts?

DERSHOWITZ: Never. Absolutely not.

CAMEROTA: OK. And the man at the center of this scandal, Jeffrey Epstein, he's a Wall Street billionaire, what is your relationship with him?

DERSHOWITZ: I was his lawyer. I represented him. I helped make the deal. It was a very good deal. I'm proud of it. If people think the deal with too good, hey, I plead guilty to that. You don't like that, criticize me about that. But don't make up stories that have no basis whatsoever in truth.

I never met this woman. I never touched her. I was never massaged by her. There was no contact. No contact whatsoever. And I will prove it conclusively and then I will bring disciplinary charges and prove that these lawyers knew that this was false, could easily have checked and didn't, and the end result will be that these lawyers will be disbarred because no lawyer should be able to practice when they have those low ethics and low ethical standards.

CAMEROTA: Here's what she says.

DERSHOWITZ: And I have challenged her. I have challenged her.


DERSHOWITZ: To repeat those statements in public. She has refused to. She says I'm trying to silence her. It's the exact opposite. Repeat the statements so then I can sue you. But the statements were filed in a privileged legal document. The document didn't even ask for a hearing. It didn't say we can prove it. Just threw this stink bomb. It's the legal equivalent of writing graffiti on a bathroom wall and then running away. But I will take action. I'm filing today a sworn affidavit denying

categorically the truth. I'm seeking to intervene in the case. I am challenging her to file rape charges against me. I waive any statute of limitations, any immunity because if she files a false rape charge against me, she goes to jail. The end result of this case should be, she should go to jail, the lawyers should be disbarred, and everybody should understand that I am completely and totally innocent.

CAMEROTA: The court documents that you're referring to, we have an excerpt of one of them. Let me just read them for our viewers. "Jeffrey Epstein required Jane Doe number three, a.k.a. Virginia Roberts, to have sexual relations with Dershowitz on numerous occasions while she was a minor, not only in Florida, but also on private planes, in New York, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In addition to being a participant in the abuse of Jane Doe number three and other minors, Dershowitz was an eyewitness to the sexual abuse of many other minors by Epstein and several of Epstein's co- conspirators." Did you ever witness anything untoward or any sort of sexual encounter with Epstein?

DERSHOWITZ: Absolutely not. And I wrote to her lawyers and told them that four or five years ago when that allegation was made that I might have been a witness. Remember that this woman, who I haven't identified, you have, is a prostitute. She is a liar. She has charged Bill Clinton with having sex with her on the island when Secret Service records will obviously show he was never on the island. She claimed to meet the queen. Buckingham records will show that isn't true.

How does a lawyer rely on the statement of a woman who is a serial perjurer, serial liar, serial prostitute and bring charges against somebody with an unscathed reputation like me without even checking? Shame on those lawyers. They have to pay a heavy price for what they have done in abusing the legal system.

CAMEROTA: Buckingham Palace, as we said, has released a statement. Let me read that to you. They say, "a very serious allegation of sex with a minor was leveled at the duke in a legal document submitted to a U.S. court. It is emphatically denied that the Duke of York had any form of sexual contact or relationship with Virginia Roberts. Any claim to the contrary is false and without foundation."

Alan, what is your relationship with Prince Andrew, if you have one?

DERSHOWITZ: Well, I've met him on several occasions. I was invited to a formal dinner by the British consul and he was the guest. We talked about the Middle East. I was invited to a party by Lord and Lady Rothschild, a birthday party, he was there. I was invited to an event with an astronaut coming back from outer space. He spoke to my class at Harvard Law School. There was a lunch sponsored by the Harvard faculty. I've never been alone with him. I've never been in a social setting with him beyond those I've described. I have never seen him participate in any untoward activities. I know nothing about the allegations regarding him or anyone else.

I have never observed any improper conduct in relation to Jeffrey Epstein. I've never participated in it. The story is simply false. It is - it's not a matter of degree, it's totally, willfully, knowingly false. And these lawyers who are putting this story forward have to pay heavy consequence. I am going to sue them for defamation. I am going to see that they're disbarred. I challenge them to come on your show and repeat the statement. Let them just come on your show and say, Alan Dershowitz had sex with this woman and they will be in court the next day having to justify that statement.

Right now they're hiding behind privilege. They're refusing to make those statements. They put this in a legal document which gives them protection and they are behaving absolutely unethically. I am accusing them of unethical behavior. That's a defamation if it's false. Let them sue me. I await the challenge. I await every opportunity to prove my innocence and their guilt.

CAMEROTA: So, Alan, what happens next? What are you going to do today?

DERSHOWITZ: Today I'm filing a sworn statement making the same challenges I put forward today. I'm filing a motion to intervene in the case in which they filed and they don't want me to intervene because they don't want me to have any opportunity to answer. We are preparing also disbarment and disciplinary papers. I am issuing the challenges I've issued to have her charge me with rape, a crime of rape, the most serious crime anyone can imagine, because if she does, she will go to judge for filing a false rape charge.

I am taking very, very aggressive actions to make them come forward and justify their conduct. So far they've hidden behind privilege, they've hidden behind a legal document that they filed and they've refused to comment behind a lawyer like statement which doesn't repeat the allegations. Come out from behind the privilege. Come on this show. Make the statement. Stand behind what you've said. The statements are totally, completely, categorically false from top to bottom.

Look, this is a zero sum game. Either I will end up being disbarred and criminally charged or they will end up being disbarred and criminally charged. There's no gray area here. One of us is telling the truth. One of us is lying. I am telling the truth and I can prove it. And they are lying, and I can prove it.

CAMEROTA: So, Alan, if these charges are categorically false, as you say, what's in it for Virginia Roberts? Why is she doing this?

DERSHOWITZ: She's trying to sell a book. She sold her story already to various British tabloids. She's a serial liar. She's a woman who claims to have been with the queen, to have been with Bill Clinton on the island. She's made up stories from the beginning of her life. She has a criminal record.

The prosecutor in Palm Beach County once refused to bring a case because she had no credibility. The lawyers could easily have found this out. I found all this out in one day. The lawyers could have found this out. She is a totally non credible person. Nobody should believe a word she says. The records establish that. Why these lawyers did it, put them on your show, ask them the

question. Why would they try to destroy the reputation of somebody with a 50 year perfect reputation in order to, what, gain some money, gain some litigation advantage? I don't understand it. I've written to friends of mine who know Paul Cosell (ph) and asked him, why would he do this? Why would he engage in such unethical behavior? Why would he put his bar license on the line? Why would he put his academic teaching career on the line? He may get fired from his teaching career for filing this kind of unethical document.


DERSHOWITZ: And if he's disbarred, he probably will be fired. Ask him that question. You've asked me everybody question. I will answer any question. I am not hiding behind any privilege. Now make him justify his conduct.

CAMEROTA: We have extended an invitation to her attorneys and we do hope to be able to ask them those questions tomorrow on NEW DAY.

DERSHOWITZ: They will not respond. They will not respond. They will not. I make a prediction. They will not state on your show, quote, Alan Dershowitz had sex with this woman. They will not do that, because if they do that, they're in court the very next day being sued for defamation for $100 million.

CAMEROTA: All right, we will follow this story. Alan Dershowitz, we appreciate you coming on NEW DAY. Thank you.

DERSHOWITZ: Thank you.

CAMEROTA: Let's go over to John.

JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: Wow. OK. Tremendous waves that would swallow up a boat, awful monsoon season weather and a murky ocean bottom. Only a handful of reporter got to go to the AirAsia 8501 search zone. Our reporter was one of them. She will show you the hardship search crews have to go through first-hand.


BERMAN: The search for AirAsia 8501 is a tale of one step forward and two steps back. Nasty conditions in the Java Sea and a murky sea bottom complicating the efforts. But just how complicated are they? CNN's Paula Hancocks, one of only a handful of reporters who was able to travel to the search zone, she joins us now to tell us what it's really like there.


PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, John, we've been hearing a lot about these summer monsoons here in Indonesia, the adverse weather conditions. On Sunday, we did have a chance to see first-hand how it's affecting the search operation.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) HANCOCKS (voice-over): The deserted beaches of west Borneo, Indonesia, belie the horrors out at sea. More than 100 nautical miles to the search zone, calm waters and sunshine soon disappear.

HANCOCKS (on camera): Now we've been on the sea now for about four hours. We've got another three or four hours to go. And as you can see, the weather has started to close in the closer we get to this crash location. But we're being told that even though these waves are fairly high, and you can see it's a lot choppier than it was, that this is still considered fairly good weather. This is better than it has been for some days.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): The crew look for debris and bodies. One of them spots something. He's unsure what exactly. The captain calls it in. A larger ship in the area will investigate. This search and rescue boat has a specific mission, to deliver a pinger locater to help with the vital search for the so called black boxes. But the captain is nervous about the weather.

"I feel a heavy moral burden," he says. "I have a responsibility to keep those on board safe. But it's so important to help find bodies and debris. Larger ships can cope with these conditions," he says. "This is not a large ship."

Sector four (ph) of the search zone, the contact boat is in sight. Time to hand over the equipment. Easier said than done.

HANCOCKS (on camera): One of the men who's in charge of that equipment was going to jump across, but, quite frankly, he doesn't want to now. He said it's simply too dangerous.

HANCOCKS (voice-over): Next job, transferring the boat from which to operate the equipment. A task the crew struggles with until dark. He will have to admit defeat, at least for today. An exhausted crew returns to land with only half a mission accomplished.


HANCOCKS (on camera): It is a huge international effort at this point. We know there's two U.S. ships on site. There's also assets from Australia, from Russia, from France, from Malaysia, from Singapore, just to name a few. But without better weather, there really is a limit to what they can do.


BERMAN: Paula Hancocks for us, no doubt happy to be on dry land. Thanks so much, Paula.


MICHAELA PEREIRA, CNN ANCHOR: All right, John. Time for the five things you need to know for your NEW DAY.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) PEREIRA (voice-over): At number one, the search that you just heard for AirAsia Flight 8501 hitting major hurdles. A large object thought to be part of the plane turned out to be a ship wreck. Still no pings from the black box. Three weeks remaining in its batteries.

Boston Marathon terror suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev finally on trial. Jury selection begins today. He faces the death penalty if convicted. We're learning this morning plea talks fell through when the government wouldn't take away the prospect of capital punishment.

A 7-year-old girl is miraculously recovering after her plane went down in Kentucky Friday, killing four family members. Investigators are hoping that Sailor Gutzler can answer questions and help investigators determine what caused that crash.

The Afghan president Ashraf Ghani is asking President Obama to reexamine his plan to withdraw all troops by 2016, telling "60 Minutes", quote, "Deadlines should not be dogmas." This as Taliban militants ramped up attacks last year as the - - pulled out most troops.

Thousands of people, including Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, are expected to attend a wake in Manhattan for former governor, Mario Cuomo. The 82-year-old will be laid to rest tomorrow.


PEREIRA (on camera): We always update those five things to know, so be sure to visit for the latest. Alisyn?

CAMEROTA: Okay, Michaela. New York City police again turning their backs on Mayor Bill de Blasio. What can be done to stop this friction?



BILL DE BLASIO, MAYOR OF NEW YORK: Let us rededicate ourselves to those great New York traditions of mutual understanding and living in harmony. Let us move forward by strengthening the bonds that unite us and let us work together to attain peace.


BERMAN: That was New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio eulogizing Detective Wenjian Liu in Brooklyn on Sunday. But once again, the funeral overshadowed by silent protests by some members of the police department.


BERMAN (voice-over): Officers once again turn their back on the mayor. They did the same thing at the funeral for Detective Rafael Ramos, only this time they did it in defiance of a personal request from their commissioner. So, can this police department and the bosses, the union bosses, figure out some kind of way forward?


BERMAN: Let's bring in the Reverend Michael Walrond, the senior pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church, and Tom Verni, a former New York police detective.

Tom, I want to start with you here. The officers, the entire force got a memo that was read to them by the police commissioner, Bill Bratton. And it said this, he said, "I issue no mandates, I make no threats of discipline, but I remind you that when you don the uniform of this department, you are bound by the tradition, honor, and decency that go with it." He said this to them before the funeral, yet there were still many who turned their backs. Was that a good call?

TOM VERNI, FORMER NYPD DETECTIVE: Well, it was a personal call made by those officers. Clearly not all the officers turned their backs, and the ones that did only did so when the mayor was speaking, which was similar to what happened during the funeral for Detective Ramos.

These officers feel that they have not been treated fairly and have not been supported by this mayor since the get go, even when he was running as a candidate for mayor. There was a lot of anti-police, anti-NYPD specific rhetoric that he was using during his campaign. And they feel that since the time he's taken office that he hasn't really been supportive of them, and that's their way of showing that in that silent turn around for the few minutes that they did that.

BERMAN: You've been on the police force, when your commissioner asks you, all be it nicely, wasn't ornery, asks you basically not to do it, to then go ahead and do something like that.

VERNI: Well also, in that memo, it states that there would be no repercussions.


VERNI: There would be no disciplinary action taken, because I think the police commissioner also understands the mind set. Right now there's still a lot of raw emotion running through these officers. Don't forget, we had two officers assassinated in their car doing nothing. They weren't taking any enforcement of any kind, there was no engagement of any kind. That's the worst murder of an officer that I can think of is just one that's sitting there in uniform and they're targeted because of that, as opposed to officers actually taking action and getting into a gun fight type of thing, which is just as awful. But this is even worse because they were just minding their own business in their patrol car.

BERMAN: Reverend, Tom mentioned, I've talked to members of the force also, their perception among some of them at least is that the mayor does not have their back. They used those exact words very much like that. That is their perception. In some cases perception is reality. If that is the perception of a lot of members of the force, including the ones who turned their back there, what does the mayor have to do to turn that perception around? REVEREND MICHAEL WALROND, SENIOR PASTOR, FIRST CORINTHIAN BAPTIST

CHURCH: Well, I think much of the perception that exists has been based on the narrative that is fuelled, I think, by tension and the divisiveness that exists now between the mayor and the police. I think in many ways that it is the narrative that has undermined the possibilities of healing, on moving forward in peace, and I'm very leery when I hear people say that the mayor did not support the police. I think when the mayor ran for office that he talked about police reform, he talked about seeking to minimize and stop frisk. And so it was, in my think, no rhetoric that the mayor gave us that suggested being anti-police.

BERMAN: He was talking about his kid.

WALROND: He was talking about his son, but more than that, I think we have to really question any institution or said persons who feel that they are beyond critique. Because if I cannot make a critique without being vilified and viewed as anti, then something is wrong. It doesn't say anything about myself, it says something about the institution that is fearful of being criticized.

BERMAN: However, is this not members of the police force offering a criticism of the mayor?


BERMAN: Is he not open for critique here?

WALROND: Oh, he is very much so open to critique. You have you not seen the vitriol, nor have you seen the vice of rhetoric that has come after these events from the mayor. And we have to be careful of that.

BERMAN: Spoken to, you know, a number of people in political circles and, look, anyone who's covered politics or been in politics - -The mayor is not going to come out and say, "I apologize." First of all, probably not true. He's probably not sorry for telling the story about his son, but even politically speaking, he's not going to go out, Tom, and say, "I'm sorry I made those statements." So, short of that, what can he do that will be satisfying to members of the force?

VERNI: Yes, I don't think he's going to come out and say, "I'm sorry" and I don't think - - you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who would give a hard time for having a conversation with his son about how he should be careful on the streets and what not. I think Mayor Giuliani had come out and recently touted some FBI statistics which, you know, were saying that his son has more to worry about, you know, crime within the neighborhood against someone from his own background than the police, which, you know, touting statistics based on crime.

So, I think, you know, overall though, based on the, you know, a lot of his campaign was run on stop and frisk and changing that which under the last administration had gotten out of control. We can probably both agree on that. Because when you're using stop and frisk as a quantitative number, you know, as a quota that shouldn't be happening. I don't think anyone has a hard time with that either, but, you know, when he came out with the grand jury verdict, which didn't indict the officer in Staten Island, that was not really the time and place to kind of relay this anecdotal story he had with his son, when he should have been coming out solidifying what the grand jury had come to based on the law and based on facts.

BERMAN: Gentlemen, this gives you a sense of where the lines are drawn right now, and right now neither side trying to really coming across to find middle ground in those lines. Hopefully it will happen soon. Tom Verni, Reverend Mike Walrond, thanks so much for being with us. Really appreciate it.

WALROND: Thanks for having me.

BERMAN: The very latest developments on the search for AirAsia Flight 8501. Ana Cabrera in for Carol Costello when "NEWSROOM" begins right after the break.