Alan Dershowitz is preparing to sue CBSViacom over how he was portrayed in the recent season finale of The Good Fight. As Variety reports, the episode in question, "The Gang Discovers Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein," made several references to the notorious attorney, as well as his relationship with Epstein.
The episode premiered on May 27, which followed the fictional criminal defense attorney Benjamin Dafoe (David Alford) who was depicted as having previously represented Epstein before Dershowitz. The episode goes on to make several references to Dershowitz in connection with Epstein, which prompted attorney Imran Ansari's letter. It focuses on one exchange that the Dafoe character has with lawyers Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and Liz Reddick (Audra McDonald) about losing the late Epstein as a client.
"Clearly, the dialogue and the context in which it is made, with words loaded with innuendo such as 'massage,' 'Epstein,' the 'Virgin Islands,' in combination with the word 'shyster,' falsely suggests that Professor Dershowitz engaged in sexual conduct, i.e. a 'massage,' with an underage girl associated with Epstein, and is crooked, unscrupulous and lying about it, i.e. a 'shyster,'" Ansari wrote.
ViacomCBS Media Networks executive VP and general counsel Jonathan Anschell responded on July 28, which largely seemed to dismiss any claims about the episode as well as its references to Dershowitz. "In other words, as one might explain to a small child, the Series, its characters and the things they say are all make-believe," Anschell wrote. "People don't watch the Series for factual information about Professor Dershowitz or anyone else."
Dershowitz also told the outlet that because The Good Fight and other such dramas weave fictional characters and real-life public figures gives him a foothold in a case for defamation. "The idea that a fictional character can get away with defaming somebody is really a new one," he explained. "You either have to have an entirely fictional account in which they make up the names of everybody or a truthful account. You can't mix the genres. When you do mix the genres, the law of defamation applies."
Previously, Dershowitz did represent Epstein, had previously been accused of being involved in his sex trafficking in the docuseries Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich. He was also named in some recently unsealed documents tied to the arrest of Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein's longtime associate who is currently awaiting trial.