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… is already notorious for his … unsavory legal and writing career… and, most recently, for his full-throated defense of female genital mutilation. He spends much of his distinguished-retirement time denying having taken part in an underage sex slave ring — indeed denying having had sex with one or more of said underage sex slaves. And here’s an updated snapshot from a life well-lived:

In 2015, the ABC News team of Amy Robach and Jim Hill secured an interview with [alleged sex slave Virginia] Giuffre. In a sequence of events confirmed by the network, producers paid for Giuffre and her family to fly from Colorado, where they lived, to New York City and put them up at the Ritz-Carlton hotel on Central Park South. Robach and her news crew interviewed Giuffre on tape for more than an hour about Epstein and his entourage.

“At the time, in 2015, Epstein was walking around a free man, comparing his criminal behavior to stealing a bagel,” Giuffre writes in an email to NPR. “I really wanted a spotlight shone on him and the others who acted with him and enabled his vile and shameless conduct against young girls and young women.”

“I viewed the ABC interview as a potential game-changer,” she writes. “Appearing on ABC with its wide viewership would have been the first time for me to speak out against the government for basically looking the other way and to describe the anger and betrayal victims felt.

The story never aired. And Giuffre has said she was never directly told why.

ABC News would not detail its editorial choices.

One ABC News staffer with knowledge of events says the network received a call from one of Epstein’s top lawyers: Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz. And Giuffre and her lawyers placed great significance on that call.

Dershowitz had been part of the powerhouse legal team that earlier kept Epstein from facing serious federal charges in Florida, which also included former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr and renowned Miami defense attorney Roy Black.

Dershowitz tells NPR he intervened after learning ABC was on the brink of broadcasting its interview with Giuffre. He says he believes he spoke with two producers and a lawyer within the same 24-hour period.

“I did not want to see [Giuffre’s] credibility enhanced by ABC,” Dershowitz says.

In a December 2014 court filing in another accuser’s lawsuit, Giuffre had alleged Dershowitz was among the prominent men Epstein had instructed her to have sex with when she was a teenager. In early 2015, Dershowitz had rejected her account out of hand in his own court filings. (The nature of his denials were such that Giuffre sued Dershowitz for defamation earlier this year. Dershowitz has asked the court to dismiss that lawsuit.)

I think we can all understand Dershowitz’s frantic desire to shut Giuffre up. He continues to try intimidation and lawsuits and all and he’s obviously had some success. Wonder for how much longer.

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UPDATE: Mulling over Alan Dershowitz’s life, UD thinks he can continue to make a contribution to Harvard University by appearing… not as a guest lecturer, but as … a kind of exemplar… in Michael Sandel’s famous discussion of Kantian ethics. Students may gaze upon and ask questions of a human being who has, apparently all his life and quite consistently, used people as means rather than ends. If reports are to be believed, he has done this in a myriad of ways for sixty years to achieve the classic payoffs: money, sex, power.

Could Sandel coax him to speak honestly? I think yes. After all, he will die pretty soon (he’s eighty) and he’s basically gotten away with it, so you have to figure he’s proud. It can be done – a life of cruel self-seeking – and this is the moment, if there’s going to be a moment, when he takes a public victory lap.

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