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Perhaps just as routine now as famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz’s summertime retreat to Martha’s Vineyard is the unseasonably cold reception he says he’s gotten these past few years on Massachusetts’ luxe vacation haven.
Since 2018, Dershowitz, a longtime Harvard professor, has said he’s been shunned by friends on the Vineyard for his defense of former President Donald Trump.
But none have generated headlines like the choice encounter he had last year with one of them, comedian Larry David, when a spat on the porch of the Chilmark General Store apparently ended with the “Curb Your Enthusiasm” creator calling Dershowitz “disgusting.”
And if that didn’t at least ruin their friendship — or dampen Dershowitz’s summer stay on the island — it’s definitely curbed his appetite for, well, “Curb.”
“Because I know that the Larry David that’s in ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ is not a fictional character,” Dershowitz said, in explaining his aversion to the show. “He’s the real Larry David.
“If you know that he’s the real Larry David, that curmudgeon, the nasty guy—”
Isaac Chotiner, the staff writer at the magazine who spoke with Dershowitz, interrupted: “It kills it.”
“It kills it, yeah,” Dershowitz replied.
Last August, The New York Post’s Page Six reported the encounter started when the two ran men ran into one another at the store, and Dershowitz told him, “We can still talk, Larry,” according to witnesses.
“No. No. We really can’t. I saw you,” David fired back, referring to a video of Dershowitz patting former secretary of state Mike Pompeo — also one of Dershowitz’s former Harvard students — on the back. The pat came as Trump praised Pompeo for berating an NPR radio reporter and throwing the station out of his place.
“It’s disgusting!” David said.
“I greet all of my former students that way,” Derrshowitz reportedly said. “I can’t greet my former students?”
“It’s disgusting,” David repeated. “Your whole enclave — it’s disgusting. You’re disgusting!”
Witnesses told the Post David then walked away as Dershowitz took off his T-shirt to uncover a second shirt underneath that read, “It’s the Constitution, Stupid!”
Dershowitz told the New Yorker the two men were good friends — that David stopped by his house to use his gym and to have dinner two or three times every summer.
“We’re friends. I represented him twice pro bono,” he said. “Suddenly, just because of that and because, obviously, [of] my defense of Trump, that has happened.”
According to Dershowitz, the Pompeo pat came amid a celebration of the Abraham Accords, Trump’s plan to normalize relations between Israel and several Arab nations, at the White House.
“I patted him on the back, and I said, ‘Mike, this, too, will pass. You’ll be remembered for what you did in the Middle East,'” Dershowitz said. “That was it. That was the entire encounter.”
David did not respond to a request for comment from the magazine.
Dershowitz has publicly lamented for years now how he’s been shunned by old friends on the Vineyard throughout the Trump era, including in 2018 after an op-ed for The Hill in which he said the cold shoulder is because he defended the then-president’s “civil liberties.”
Dershowitz, in the years since, has also defended Trump during the president’s first impeachment trial and argued against the Senate trial after Trump’s second impeachment.
Speaking with the New Yorker, Dershowitz name-dropped several organizations and institutions on the island, especially in and around Chilmark, that he claims have not sent invites to him for the typical public speaking engagements he regularly receives.
“I’ve been cancelled, basically, by the Chilmark Library,” he told the magazine. “That has resulted in lots of people in Chilmark calling me and calling the library and saying, ‘We’re being deprived of Alan’s annual speech.'”
According to the outlet, Ebba Hierta, the library’s director, refuted Dershowitz’s assertion.
“Not one single person has contacted me to complain that they haven’t had a chance to hear Alan speak,” Hierta said.
Asked if the library is being “besieged with phone calls,” Dershowitz walked back some of his words.
“I wouldn’t say that. I’m being besieged with phone calls,” he said.
“I’m being besieged with phone calls from people saying, ‘Well, how come you’re not speaking this year? We look forward to it every year.’ The same thing is true of the Martha’s Vineyard book fair. Every year, I was invited to speak at the Martha’s Vineyard book fair. Suddenly it stopped when I defended the Constitution on behalf of Trump. Then it happened at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center, where I was a frequent speaker. Suddenly I’m no longer allowed to speak there.”
Dershowitz went on to say the same is true of the Chilmark Community Center.
“I’ve been on the Vineyard almost 50 years. I would say every single year up until January, 2020, every single year I spoke in multiple venues on the Vineyard, always for free, so this is not about me,” he said. “Obviously, it’s about the audiences. The audiences are being deprived of my voice as the result of a deliberate cancellation decision. So it’s not me who’s being cancelled. It’s the audiences who are being cancelled.”
The Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center, however, told the magazine there has never been discussion about not allowing the esteemed lawyer to speak.
Meanwhile, the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival, which is organized by the Chilmark Community Center, told the New Yorker: “We have who we think are the most important writers.”
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