The BBC has come under fire for airing a segment about the Ghislaine Maxwell verdict that featured commentary from a man who allegedly sexually assaulted one of Jeffrey Epstein's accusers, while failing to disclose that fact to viewers.
In a statement Thursday, the network said that the appearance of lawyer Alan Dershowitz, who also had represented Epstein, did not meet its editorial standards.
"Mr. Dershowitz was not a suitable person to interview as an impartial analysis and we did not make the relevant background clear to our audience. We will look into how this happened," the statement reads.
In 2015, Virginia Giuffre said in a federal lawsuit that Epstein kept her as a sex slave and forced her to have sex with Dershowitz and Prince Andrew. Both men have strongly denied the allegations.
Giuffre was not called to testify in Maxwell's trial, though she was mentioned hundreds of times in court proceedings. She is currently suing Andrew in New York federal court for sexual abuse.
After Maxwell was found guilty of sex trafficking charges on Wednesday, Dershowitz appeared on BBC World News, where he was introduced simply as a "constitutional lawyer," to discuss Maxwell's conviction.
Dershowitz criticized Giuffre during the segment, saying that the prosecutors' choice not to involve her in their case against Maxwell discredited her accusations against him and Epstein.
"The government did not use as a witness the woman who accused Prince Andrew, who accused me, accused many other people because the government didn't believe she was telling the truth," Dershowitz said.
He also addressed the ongoing proceedings between Giuffre and Andrew. He said Maxwell's conviction "weakens the case against Prince Andrew considerably because the government was very selective in who it used."
The network immediately came under fire for the segment.
Dershowitz issued a statement on Twitter on Thursday morning after the backlash against his interview with the BBC.
"Following the Maxwell conviction, BBC requested an interview, during which I explicitly stated that I , Prince Andrew and other people had been accused of having sex with Virginia Guffre," he said.
"I commented on the prosecution’s wise decision not to use her as a witness because of her lack of credibility. The media has repeatedly interviewed victims of Epstein’s abuse," Dershowitz said in another tweet. He added that it was "appropriate" for the network to interview him and suggested that those accused of sexual assault by Giuffre were the "victims."