Whatever Happened To Alan Dershowitz From The OJ Simpson Case?

Some people may only know lawyer Alan Dershowitz from when he drew headlines as former U.S. President Donald Trump's lawyer. But Dershowitz actually has a lengthy history in the legal field, taking on cases for high-profile celebrities and politicians throughout his career. What has Alan Dershowitz done since the O.J. Simpson case — and what is he up to these days?

Alan Dershowitz was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York (via Britannica). After graduating from college in 1962, he worked as a law clerk in the U.S. Court of Appeals and then for the U.S. Supreme Court. He started teaching at Harvard Law School just two years later and soon joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Even in his early years, Dershowitz made a name for himself when he was unafraid to take on distasteful clients or legal issues that others wouldn't (via Encyclopedia.com). In 1969, he took on a case to enforce a movie theater's right to play a sexually explicit film; then, in 1976, he represented a porn actor who was sued for his attempt to distribute the movie across state lines as an actor in the film. Dershowitz won both cases.

The famous O.J. Simpson trial

In 1984,  Alan Dershowitz continued his winning streak with the case of a socialite who tried to murder his wife. Dershowitz penned a book about the experience called "Reversal of Fortune: Inside the von Bulow Case," which drew a media frenzy (via Encyclopedia.com). When the book was turned into a movie in 1990, Dershowitz established his place as a famous lawyer willing to take on all types of clients. And he was about to take on one of his most famous cases ever.

According to Insider, Dershowitz was an appellate advisor for O.J. Simpson in the 1995 case, who was accused of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and one of her friends, Ron Goldman. He believes that the Los Angeles Police Department tried to frame Simpson for a crime he didn't commit by smearing the football player's blood onto a sock found at the crime scene. The case drew massive media attention, and millions of people watched the trial closely. The televised final verdict drew a whopping 150 million viewers, which was about 57% of adult Americans, according to Time.

Insider reports that Dershowitz believes that he left a legacy with the case: He claims the LAPD are now less inclined to be corrupt. But he has also said that for such a public trial, it barely established any new precedent.

Julian Assange case

Throughout the 1990s, Alan Dershowitz wrote four books, including 1996's "Reasonable Doubts: The O.J. Simpson Case and the Criminal Justice System" and 1998's book "Sexual McCarthyism: Clinton, Starr, and the Emerging Constitutional Crisis," reports Britannica. And for years in the 1990s and 2000s, Dershowitz was involved with the media as a frequent guest on shows like "Larry King Live" and "Oprah." Then, around 2005, Alan Dershowitz took on his next unsavory client: Jeffrey Epstein (per Vox). Epstein took a non-prosecution agreement and spent just over a year in jail.

In 2011, Dershowitz embarked on another high-profile case when he joined Julian Assange's legal defense team as a consultant, reports Politico. He was inspired by the high stakes for journalists like Assange, saying that he wanted to protect First Amendment rights in the digital age. Assange founded Wikileaks, an anonymous way to share secret information, including military secrets and humongous data dumps (via EuroNews). Living in Sweden in 2010, Assange was charged with rape and sexual assault, and the case was later dropped.

In 2013, Dershowitz left his teaching post at Harvard Law, where he taught for 50 years.

Dershowitz joins Harvey Weinstein's legal battle

With the presidency of Donald Trump starting in 2016, Alan Dershowitz couldn't miss an opportunity to work with the polarizing figure (via Britannica). Though he didn't join the Trump legal team until a few years later, Dershowitz spent years praising Trump on Fox News. He even penned "Trumped Up: How Criminalization of Political Differences Endangers Democracy" in 2017.

According to The Harvard Crimson, in February 2019, Dershowitz consulted on the case of Harvey Weinstein. The class-action lawsuit alleged that Weinstein broke federal sex trafficking laws, plus he faced two separate lawsuits from women alleging sexual assault. Weinstein, a formerly prominent movie producer, was sentenced to 23 years in prison in 2020 on numerous rape and sexual assault charges. He began appealing the ruling the next year.

In a 2019 NPR interview, Dershowitz once again drew inflammatory headlines. He said that he didn't think all of Jeffrey Epstein's victims were sexually abused, and many had financial reasons for wanting to sue the accused sex trafficker. He also denied accusations that he had sexual relations with one of Epstein's victims.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Dershowitz gets cancelled

In 2020, Alan Dershowitz defended former President Donald Trump in a stunning court preceding, where he suggested that it should be basically impossible to impeach Trump (via PBS). Following resounding outrage at the purported idea that a president could legally overthrow a U.S. election, Dershowitz took to Twitter to say he was being misinterpreted by the media and said that the president was not above the law. Then, in 2021, Dershowitz began advising the legal team of Rudy Guiliani, who tried to block courts from accessing his documents from the time of the Trump presidency (via CNN).

Though Dershowitz is known for defending many controversial figures, he may have finally gone too far when he supported Donald Trump's calls to overturn the election. Dershowitz says he lost many, many friends following his support of Trump. Notably, he got into a public fight with actor Larry David at Martha's Vineyard after David called Dershowitz "disgusting," as Newsweek reported. Dershowitz added that many Vineyard establishments have seemingly socially banned him, which he called "McCarthyism." He tackled the subject in his latest book, "Cancel Culture: The Latest Attack on Free Speech and Due Process," which became a New York Times bestseller (via Simon & Schuster).

Dershowitz once again made headlines when he was accused of sexual abuse by a woman from the Jeffrey Epstein case, as reported by Vox. Virginia Roberts Giuffre said that she had sex with Dershowitz at least six times in the early 2000s on Epstein's properties. Another woman said she had sex with Dershowitz one time at Epstein's request. Dershowitz denies both claims.

Working with the 'worst' offenders

Daily Mail reports that in a 2021 Fox News interview, Alan Dershowitz claimed that Virginia Roberts Giuffre, who was a minor when allegedly abused and trafficked by Epstein, arranged sexual encounters for Epstein when she was slightly older and should be held criminally accountable. Giuffre counter-sued Dershowitz for defamation.

When NPR asked Dershowitz if he regretted his work with Jeffrey Epstein, he said that his job was simply to get the best possible outcomes for his clients. He added that he teaches students that they need to help their legal clients first and foremost, and they can feel bad about the results afterward. Dershowitz consistently maintains that the legal system has to work for even the "worst" offenders (via Encyclopedia.com).

So what is Alan Dershowitz doing today? Per PR Newswire, in January 2022, he launched a new live show on Rumble called "The Dershow." He posts roughly 30-minute videos on legal topics and news of the day three times per week. He is also a frequent guest host on "Cats at Night," a WABC Radio legal talk show.

Dershowitz has also added his voice to Cameo, a website where users can pay for a video from the famous lawyer. Forward reports that he said he misses teaching and uses Cameo as a teaching space. Dershowitz reportedly plans to put the Cameo money towards a Chabad house at Martha's Vineyard.