Alan Dershowitz: The Word On The Street

(1) big pigLast week when I wrote about the paucity of support Alan Dershowitz had received from his fellow academics I wondered whether they knew something about Alan’s lifestyle that the rest of us didn’t. Hopalong wrote to remind me of the incident between Mike Barnicle and Alan that took place years ago.

On December 6, 1990, Barnicle wrote a column in the Boston Globe. It was entitled “Open Mouth, Get in Paper.” Barnicle wrote: “Al is available to issue statements on any number of newsworthy or utterly ridiculous topics: Iraq, sex, Russia, abortion, education, sex, movies, basketball, the designated hitter, sex, inflation, sex. “ Now that Alan’s got himself named in the matter involving Jeffrey Epstein and Virginia Roberts and we see Barnicle’s repetition of sex four times as the topics that Alan is available to speak about perhaps those fellow professors knew of his same proclivity.

Barnicle was writing about how Alan opposed a guy he had never met for a judgeship. He said: But Al doesn’t have to talk to a guy to oppose him. Fragments of information, third hand stories, innuendo, gossip, guilt by association or a plain, old-fashioned smear are quite enough when you have fine, liberal credentials.”  If that is true, how fine it is that one who thrived on gossip is now the subject of much locker room talk himself. I’d suggest if you want to play loose with other people’s reputations your complaints when your own reputation is being tarnished will be met with sardonic smiles.

Barnicle went on to say: “I do know that it’s pretty easy to stick it to someone in public life these days, anyone at all, and be certain that reality will never catch up to the initial indictment.” That, of course, we’ve seen with Billy Bulger and John Connolly, the truth like the tortoise has had a difficult time chasing after and catching up with the hare of scandal.

Barnicle concluded by saying: That’s why I’m not going to dwell on the time Al was lugged to a police station for using stolen tickets at a Red Sox game. Or the time he told me and a friend as we stood by the Out-Of-Town-News stand that, in Al’s exact words, “I love Asian women, don’t you? They’re . . . they’re so submissive.” 

As you might expect Dershowitz denied making that statement and he went after Barnicle for suggesting that he did. He never let up. Over and over he persisted at any chance he had. Sort of like the same thing he is doing now to the little girl he is alleged to have molested. In 1998 he was still after him.

In a June 28, 1998 column “The Lawyer and the Columnist” the author wrote: His [Barnicle’s] name got dragged through the mud last week, thanks to Harvard Law School professor and defense attorney Alan Dershowitz,. . .” The author went on to note that because of Barnicle’s quote about his love of Asian women: “He threatened mightily, eventually reaching a resolution of the matter with the newspaper — thereby avoiding the process of mutual discovery that would have shed light on the question of whether the youthful Dersh had been racist, sexist, or, in his own words, a potential adulterer, or Barnicle a liar.” 

 In that column the author had this to say about the Harvard Law professors: The fact is that Harvard Law School, where Alan Dershowitz hangs his hat, has been a far more troubled place in recent years than has the Globe. First it was the “crits,” a band of legal nihilists whose shenanigans turned faculty meetings into battlefields. Then there was an ongoing controversy over the school’s inability to appoint female and minority professors. And of course there is the unsolved murder of Mary Jo Frug, whose husband, Gerald, is a law school professor. The police investigation of her death was hindered and hushed through a combination of legal bluster and arrogance from a circle of friends from the law school.”

 You know the old saying that where there’s smoke there’s fire. It’s hard to stop from wondering what the real Alan is all about. What’s behind the suggestion that he has been “sexist, or, in his own words, a potential adulterer?’ Why would Barnicle have invented such a statement from Dershowitz about “submissive women” and have indicated his availability to talk about “sex . . . sex . . . sex . . . sex”?

It seems then that Virginia Roberts allegations are not like a bolt out of the blue those who know Alan. I’d have to guess his law school colleagues must know him pretty well. Does that account for their reticence in stepping up to the plate for him?


  1. Some ten plus years ago, a photograph of Dershowitz at the nude beach on Martha’s Vineyard was published. All he had on his body was a woman’s large, pink sun hat. Unfortunately, the image is seared into my mind. The picture left no doubt it was Dershowitz….pale, gingery, saggy, sneering. Notwithstanding, Dershowitz responded by saying “there’s no direct evidence that it’s me in the picture.” That picture appears to have been expunged from the Internet. Good thing it’s gone or he could be liable for the mass tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

  2. I believe I have heard more than once that Dersh has spent time at (or even frequented) some nude beach on Martha’s Vineyard.

    I have this theory about most American males: Having grown up in a society that’s uptight about nudity, those who go to nude beaches are often oddballs or just plain “off” when it comes to their sexual behavior.

    Just a theory…