COLUMBUS (WCMH/AP) — Les Wexner has agreed to answer written deposition questions, and could be called to testify in a lawsuit involving Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre and attorney Alan Dershowitz, according to court filings.
The defamation suit, filed by Virginia Giuffre, says Dershowitz, who represented billionaire financier Jeffrey Epstein when he successfully avoided federal sex trafficking charges in 2008, knowingly made “false and malicious defamatory statements” against Giuffre.
Giuffre has alleged she was forced by Epstein to have sex with Dershowitz – a claim Dershowitz vehemently denies. Guiffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, claims to have been a victim of sex trafficking and abuse by Epstein when she was underage.
Dershowitz previously said he welcomed the suit to prove he never had sex with — or even met — Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who has accused the noted lawyer and a long list of other prominent men of sexually exploiting her when she was 17 and 18 years old.
But Dershowitz’s lawyers argued Tuesday that Giuffre waited too long to file her defamation lawsuit and that her case should be dismissed under the statute of limitations. They said Dershowitz has denied Giuffre’s claims since 2015 and has the right to defend his reputation when the accusations are repeated.
Giuffre’s allegations date back many years but drew new attention after Epstein was charged in New York with sexually abusing dozens of girls. Epstein killed himself last year in a Manhattan jail cell while awaiting trial.
Giuffre, 36, has said in court filings that Epstein made her his teenage “love slave” and forced her to have sex with Dershowitz a half-dozen times in Florida, New York, New Mexico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. She says Dershowitz also witnessed Epstein abusing other girls.
In July 2019, after news of Epstein’s arrest on child sex trafficking charges broke, NBC4 reported on an affidavit filed in the Dershowitz suit that mentioned an alleged sexual assault at Les Wexner’s home on Kitzmiller Road by Epstein in 1996 against a woman hired to help “him with acquiring art.”
“It’s hard to think of a more viral allegation,” Howard Cooper, an attorney for Dershowitz, told U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska. “Professor Dershowitz is clearly being active in responding.”
Giuffre’s lawyers countered that Dershowitz has expanded his attacks on Giuffre’s credibility over the years, an escalation that allows them a fresh chance to pursue a defamation lawsuit.