The Good Fight might need to hire a lawyer of its own soon: Famous attorney Alan Dershowitz is demanding an apology from the CBS All Access legal drama and threatening to sue after a character called him a “shyster” in a recent episode.
Our sister site Variety has the details on Dershowitz’s complaints, which center on The Good Fight‘s Season 4 finale, provocatively titled “The Gang Discovers Who Killed Jeffrey Epstein.” David Alford (Nashville) guest-starred as Benjamin Dafoe, a criminal defense attorney who once called Epstein (aka “that asshole”) a client. When Audra McDonald’s Liz asks Dafoe, “When did you decide your former client was an asshole?,” he responds, “Probably about the the time he ditched me for Dershowitz. At least I didn’t get a massage, like that shyster. And for the purposes of any potential lawsuit, ‘shyster’ is just my opinion, not a statement of fact.”
Dafoe used that “for the purposes of any potential lawsuit” disclaimer repeatedly, and to comedic effect, throughout his conversation with Liz and Diane, including when he claimed Dershowitz “would sell his grandmother to suck up to the rich and famous,” and when he said in parting, “Watch out for Dershowitz. That a–hole will sue you at the drop of a hat.”
Dershowitz’s lawyers sent CBS a letter earlier this month asking that the episode be pulled and that a retraction and apology be issued. They claim that the episode “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.'” They add that the “opinion” disclaimers in the script only show “that CBS knew the statements were defamatory, yet sought, albeit weakly, to skirt liability.”
ViacomCBS general counsel responded with a letter defending the episode: “We’re confident that no viewer would conclude that Professor Dershowitz is a shyster based on one line of opinion from a fictional character on the Series, as opposed to the real-life, factual publications that have called him exactly that.”
Dershowitz insists that he’s actually a fan of The Good Fight — “My family and I have watched it and enjoyed it” — but vows to take the show to court if his demands aren’t met: “Nobody’s going to call me a shyster and get away with it.”