Carolyn Cohen is the second wife of Alan Dershowitz, the well-known criminal defense attorney and Fox News political commentator.
Dershowitz and Cohen, who have been married since 1986, identify as Democrats. But Dershowitz has frequently defended President Donald Trump over the years. He was asked to join the legal defense team, led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone, as the president faces an impeachment trial in the Senate.
Dershowitz has said that during the trial, his role will be limited. He will be explaining the defense’s argument for why the articles of impeachment passed in the House did not meet constitutional requirements for removing a president from office. He told NPR, “I am doing precisely the same thing I would be doing had Hillary Clinton — who I voted for — been elected president and had the Republicans try to impeach her.”
Derschowitz also explained to CNN that before officially joining the defense team, he had to get his wife on the phone with President Trump to get her approval first. “My wife thought that it would be better for me to remain independent and not present the argument in the Senate. President Trump spoke to her and said how important it was for the country. And my wife is still quite ambivalent about my role, but she supports me.”
Here’s what you need to know about Carolyn Dershowitz.
1. Carolyn Cohen Was a Neuropsychologist and Had Studies Published in Prominent Medical Journals
Carolyn Cohen has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and worked as a neuropsychologist. She also joined her husband as a staffer at Harvard. Cohen was a supervisor and clinician at Harvard Medical School.
She is listed as one of the co-authors of a study published by the Harvard Department of Psychiatry. The research team spent 12 years following 120 children and adolescents they defined as “high-risk.” The goal was to study how a person’s cognitive skills and deficits impacted their “psychopathology and recovery.” They also analyzed the young people’s mental health and risk for suicide as they transitioned into adulthood.
Cohen’s name is also listed as the co-author of multiple studies published by prominent medical journals. One of those, published in 1992 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, worked to develop a system for testing cognitive function in elderly patients. Cohen is also named in a 1991 study published in JAMA Neurology, about Alzheimer’s and dementia.
It appears that Carolyn Cohen did not limit her work to just the northeast, or to just research. Cohen and Dershowitz also own a home in Miami Beach, and Cohen appears to have had a psychology practice there. An inactive LinkedIn page names Cohen as a retired psychology in Miami Beach. No other information is provided on the page.
2. Carolyn Cohen and Alan Dershowitz Have a Daughter, Ella, Who Graduated from Yale and Became a Professional Actress in New York City
Carolyn Cohen is about 12 years younger than husband Alan Dershowitz. Her birthday is not easily found online. Dershowitz was born on September 1, 1938. An article by People in 1990 identifies Cohen as being 39 years old at the time, when Dershowitz was 51.
The couple had a 6-month-old daughter at the time that article was published. Ella Dershowitz is now in her late 20s and working as an actress. She bucked the family’s loyalty to Harvard by attending rival Yale University. Ella graduated with a degree in theater.
Since college, Ella has added off-Broadway shows and television appearances to her resume. Her stage credits include Can You Forgive Her at the Vineyard Theater alongside actress Amber Tamblyn in 2017; the 2014 comedic show Intimacy; Twelfth Night; and The Screenwriter’s Daughter.
Ella’s TV resume includes appearances on shows including The Affair on Showtime, Knife Fight and Lie To Me on Fox.
3. The Intellectual Couple Lived for More Than 20 Years in a Massive Cambridge Home
Alan Dershowitz and Carolyn Cohen had a flair for style and glamour. They previously owned a massive home in Cambridge, Massachusetts that was reportedly very unique compared to other houses in the area. The house was modern, which differed from the traditional colonial-style homes more common in Massachusetts. They bought the house from Nobel-Prize-winning biologist David Baltimore.
According to the Boston Business Journal, Dershowitz bought the house in 1990 for $1.15 million. The family put it on the market in 2012, with a list price of nearly $4 million. The house is nearly 5,500 square feet with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The rest of the space includes an indoor lap pool, a hot tub, large living spaces, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The family also maintained a Japanese-style garden.
In 2010, the home was featured by student journalists in the Harvard Crimson. Dershowitz shared that it was important to both him and Cohen that they live near the Harvard campus and stay part of the community, instead of moving out to a suburb.
The article described the inside of Cohen and Dershowitz’s house as being full of artwork. Paintings covered the walls. The couple loved collecting sculptures as well; the pieces in the house included a crouching man on a pedestal, a stone Chinese warrior, and “a 4,000-year-old sarcophagus wearing a yarmulke made of Coca-Cola cans.”
The living room contained display cases full of antique items. The couple also had a Coney Island bumper car prominently displayed in the living room. Another signature collection was framed signatures from every U.S. president except Obama. Dershowitz hinted at the time that when he and Cohen eventually sold the house, much of his items would be donated to museums.
4. Carolyn Cohen and Alan Dershowitz Divide Their Time Between Homes in New York City, Miami Beach and Martha’s Vineyard
Carolyn Cohen and Alan Dershowitz have plenty of places to go and unwind. They own homes in Martha’s Vineyard, Miami Beach and Manhattan.
Dershowitz is originally from Williamsburg, Brooklyn, but he and Cohen chose the upscale neighborhood Sutton Place on the east side of Manhattan to call home. According to the New York Observer, the couple paid $1.68 million in 2012 for a three-bedroom apartment on the 16th floor, at 45 Sutton Place.
Cohen enjoys taking in Broadway shows when the couple is in New York City. She reportedly fell in love with theater after seeing Arthur Miller’s play “A View from the Bridge” as a child. Her daughter Ella describes her parents’ support for theater and her acting career in an interview with the MV Times in 2013. She says her parents sent her to theater camps during her teenage summers. And they continue to do their own promotion of her. Ella told the newspaper, “They insisted that I go to college and now that I’m out they couldn’t be happier about my work. My dad literally hands out flyers to strangers in New York when I am in a show. It is so embarrassing. He gets so excited. I swear he gave one to President Obama.”
5. Carolyn Cohen Reportedly Volunteered Her Time to Assist Children in Boston and Miami
Carolyn Cohen was a clinical psychologist. As referenced above, she worked on a research team that followed at-risk children and analyzed their development and mental health. But Cohen didn’t limit her interaction with children to just her research. She also volunteered in at least two of her communities.
According to the website Little Sis, which is maintained by a non-profit research group called the Public Accountability Initiative, Cohen worked as a volunteer for several years. She helped serve children in impoverished neighborhoods in Boston and Miami. She also reportedly served on boards that worked to provide opportunities and assistance to children and their families in underprivileged areas.